Matrics 'have a long way to go'

2013-01-03 12:30

Johannesburg - The improvement in the matric pass rate is to be commended, but there is still a long way to go in promoting education in South Africa, a number of organisations said on Thursday.

"[The] improvement in the matric pass rate [is] positive, but many 'born frees' [born post 1994] [have been] lost along the way," civil rights body Equal Education said.

On Wednesday, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga announced the matric pass rate in South Africa had improved in 2012, with 73.9% of grade 12 pupils passing their final exams.

The pass rate in 2011 was 70.2%.


Equal Education said many schools still needed functioning libraries and basic amenities like electricity and running water.

"Due to shortages of qualified teachers, inadequate salaries and a lack of incentives to attract teachers into poor communities, schools often have large classes."

The organisation gave the example of Khayelitsha, in Cape Town, where it claimed between 50 to 60 students were sometimes in one class.

The African National Congress commended the 2012 matric class on its "sterling performance".

Party spokesperson Jackson Mthembu said that the improvement vindicated the basic education department's strategies.

Mthembu said young people could help the country by studying.

"We call on the tertiary education institutions to ensure that these matriculants get the necessary help to enrol."


Secretary of the Federation of Unions of SA (Fedusa), Dennis George, said concerns remained about the quality of schooling in South Africa.

"The standard of basic education is not up to scratch," he said in a statement.

"Our union members working in the tertiary education sector continually complain about the standard of first-year students enrolled at our universities."

George said it seemed pressure to produce good results had led to a drop in standards.

"This, then, would be nothing more than a hollow victory."

The federation believed the skills taught in schools were "too academic".

"Our economy demands artisans and those with technical skills."

The ANC in the North West "jubilantly" welcomed the results.

"[We] are overjoyed with the improvement in our overall national results."

Drop-out rates

Provincial spokesperson Kenny Morolong, however, said the party was concerned about the drop-out rate of pupils.

"We vow to pay attention to this unacceptable phenomenon during this academic year."

The African Christian Democratic Party's Chief Whip, Cheryllyn Dudley, said the 2012 results "did not disappoint".

"First year 'born-free' matriculants have certainly made their mark, as 29 000 more learners than last year passed."

Dudley said the emphasis now had to be on ensuring fewer children dropped out before matric.


She said all political parties were united on education.

"We are on the same side - the side of South Africa and all her people."

The Democratic Alliance Youth was encouraged by the improved pass rates in mathematics and physical science.

"These are key skills needed to grow the economy and create jobs," federal DA youth leader Makashule Gana said.

Meanwhile the National Congress of School Governing Bodies' secretary-general, Monokoane Hlobo, said they welcomed Motshekga's announcement that she was establishing a task team to look at the matter of students' names being published next to their results in newspapers.

  • johan.jacobs.5680 - 2013-01-03 12:44

    Education can't be faked or fooled.

  • des.wolfaardt - 2013-01-03 12:49

    Really? Even though most schools hardly had any books???????

  • dante.schoeman - 2013-01-03 13:04

    Well , probably 40 % of the pass rate achieved an average of 34-50 % . Now I would'nt call that pass.

  • HereXVII - 2013-01-03 13:18

    were the pass rate 70 or atleast 60 percent, it would've been good news. But what use is an education system if it turns out matriculents who only know 30% of what they should know

  • Khensani - 2013-01-03 13:20

    A 73.9% pass rate means nothing if a large portion of those students pass subjects with a 30%. Lowering the pass rate doesn't make for smarter students but rather lazier individuals. You really wanna see results? Push the rate up to 50% and push the students to work harder.

      Mary Milne Archibald - 2013-01-03 13:41

      Agree. But there is a need for National Exam level Grade 10/11 with pass of 45% to let those wanting to train as artisans to leave school.

      doug.evans.56863 - 2013-01-03 14:41

      why don't the students complain ??? Or do they think 33% is good enough ???

  • christina.nxumalo.7 - 2013-01-03 13:36

    It is the policies of the DoE that mainly always determine the quality of matric result. Put pressure on teachers to produce a high percentage of passes and have them compromise quality. Limit their pace by work schedules so that they do not move at a faster pace even if their learners understand concepts. Consequently not enough time for revision is available before exams.

  • danie.smit.587 - 2013-01-03 13:37

    Do they believe themselves .Can good results really be more important , than the future of SA, with youths that pass, but with knowledge, less than 20 years ago Bantu education grade 10's had.

  • leon.petzer.1 - 2013-01-03 14:13

    You know the country is in trouble when you have to "promote education"

  • avanwyk2 - 2013-01-03 14:14

    The word matrics reminds me too much of when the standards were still high. Rather call them grade 12 learners. You cannot compare the current quality of education with the quality then.

  • athalia.maabane - 2013-01-03 14:15

    But really, where are we heading towards with a 30% as a pass rate. This is so discouraging and it needs to be reviewed. These kids are so spoon fed, yet they have everything to support them unlike us in the older days. All they know is this bloody Mixit, Facebook, Partying etc..

      modise.adam - 2013-01-03 15:42

      They dont read, it is nt social networks...the biggest function of S.N is to communicate and solve problems....

  • doug.evans.56863 - 2013-01-03 14:40

    the rate is irrelevant ... the number of university passes is all that matters ... if you barely pass matric it doesn't help you in the slightest bit ?? especially with 33% .. you know nothing in that case

  • david.wolpert.39 - 2013-01-03 15:22

    Huge credibility problem.Marks massaged upwards-standards lowered-ridiculous pass requirements------who are we kidding giving matric certificates to many who are still basically illiterate and totally unemployable notwithstanding economic climate?

  • thozi - 2013-01-03 15:45

    While the increase in the pass rate is welcome, the "ghost of General Adjustment of Results" continues to spoil the hard work put up by the deserving students. I understand that without the "adjustments", the pass percentage would actually be around 64% with those eligible for university entrance even less. But that would dent the ANC's pride and they cannot afford that, can they? Nonetheless, a true and sincere accoladess for those students who gave it all they had.

  • george.pito - 2013-01-03 18:34

    There is something real wrong in this countries education system. My son passed his final year in Engineering this year with and average between 70 and 80 at an university not the T or N stuff. No bursary no job yet. At school good old Afrikaans school not being recognised at all as they go for rugby and all sorts of crap. The so called big companies like the Arms deal culprits with Nip and Dip they dont give bursaries. Many other companies only to buddies and BEE. Every year we hear this stories of education but no commitment after this so what if you get a matric a university student costs his parents probably a good R500000 if he or she is white. Then no job as this goes to Chinese or companies putting up toll gates or selling airoplanes to the country with no commitment back to the country only backhands. When they investigate the arms deal please include what investment they make to this country for education

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