Pass rate a positive step - president

2012-01-04 22:18

Cape Town - President Jacob Zuma hailed the improved 2011 matric pass rate on Wednesday as a "step in the right direction".

"Zuma wishes to congratulate all the matrics who sat for their National Senior Certificate exams in 2011," his spokesperson Mac Maharaj said in a statement.

"[He] has hailed the ascending pass rate as a step in the right direction."

Some 70.2% of matrics passed last year's exams - up from 67.8% in 2010.

Of these, 24.3% obtained university entrance.

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga announced the results in Pretoria on Wednesday.

In 2009, 60.7% of matrics passed the 2009 exams. In 2008, 62.5% of matrics passed.

"We would also like to draw special attention to those matriculants who, even though faced with adverse learning conditions, performed exceptionally well," Zuma was quoted as saying.

"You have demonstrated not only to your peers but to the rest of the country that your circumstances do not determine what you can and cannot do. We wish you well in your future plans."

Zuma sent his well wishes to those who did not pass, saying they should persevere in their second attempt.

  • Swapie - 2012-01-04 22:55

    Well done Matrics! Good luck to those who will start looking for a job next year. Remember: we all have been there.

      Sean - 2012-01-05 00:42

      Just keep on dropping the standards and the pass rate will soon be 100% ! Who are these guys trying to fool ??

      godesha - 2012-01-05 06:21

      Sean, I was just about to say the same thing. With a passmark of 20% (if I remember correctly) it is not surprising that more matrics passed this year.

      Lwads - 2012-01-05 08:20

      And who keeps dropping the pass mark? They will drop the pass mark to an extent that students will simply pass by being present to write the exam

      Xavier7034 - 2012-01-05 08:32

      The TRUE pass rate is a University Entrance pass, which is thus, tragically, just over 17% of the 660 000 candidates who wrote = approx 110 000. What prospects of a job is there for OVER 500 000 young people? ZILCH! The results clearly point to a NEED for Trade Schools, for Mechanics, Plumbers, Electricians, Millwrights, Carpenters. Also we NEED teachers training colleges. Maths Education needs a RADICAL change, and here, the Khan Academy in the USA has made a an INCREDIBLE difference. But, to do that, we need SPEEDY ADSL INTERNET ACCESS in every corner of the country....with this Government? Nah!

  • Zighom - 2012-01-04 23:19

    Fail is the new pass! what a pity. A pass rate of 24 percent for university entrance is pathetic. its a 76 percent failure rate! why are people celebrating failure? i did matric in 1988 in a public school, and ended up in a top university from nothing. And if i recall well a mark below 40 was an "F" and therefore a fail. These days its a pass. Honestly, what does society do with a matriculant who has 3x 40s and 3x 30s? they wont get a bursary even to TUT. No wonder the streets are full of loiterers. Most matrics aren't competitive as can be seen from the results. Matric should be a life-altering bridge to a better life even for the poorest scholar, if only they get exemption and qualify for scholarships. Shame on the minister for fooling these kids

      Van - 2012-01-05 01:40

      The 24% will be throwing stones at Uni before the end of 2012. What is of concern is that Uni's also adjust the marks upwards. They have to pass a certain % of students to get enough $$ to keep on going. So, to achieve this marks are udjusted upwards and you will end up with a lawyer(scumbags), doctors, dentists that is not qualified but have a degree. My moto is that I don't employ anybody if they are not prepared to complete two years of on the job training. Every 6 months they have to sit a couple exams. You fail, you're out. No adjustment. Finish and klaar.

      Ryan - 2012-01-05 07:51

      6 years ago when I wrote my very 1st semester test in chemistry, the average for the test was just below 50%. Last year that same semester test in chemistry scored an incredible 17 % as an average. What's more is that I had started my degree with 200 other students, but only 67 of us graduated in the end. Just imagine how the next batch of students will do if they even get that far! Interestingly, one professor has been completing a long research programme into this matter, where every 3 years a standardized test is given out to students to complete (in a specific module), and the results are compared with previous ones. Guess what, 1st year students over the years have been performing worse and worse... I doubt this comes at a surprise.

      phumelele.yabo - 2012-01-05 08:25

      24% of pupils who passed the NSC exam obtained University entrances whilst 80% of students who passed the IEB examination obtained University entrances, and we say our country is headed in the right direction. The lower the standards, the more failures the country breeds. IEB is one of the toughest examinations worldwide yet its output dominates all HEI's. Its a pity that our country endorses failures...

  • Deeteem - 2012-01-05 04:39

    This might seem like a victory to some but it is nowhere even close to the true result !!

  • Bruce - 2012-01-05 04:44

    You are so right Sean. Even 15 years ago, when my eldest went to University he had to right an entrance exam, despite coming from a good Model C school and was one of the top pupils. I remarked to his professor when he obtained a Masters Degree, that back in the mists of time, when I did matric, having 6 distinctions was really something. Any more was just about unheard of. Nowadays they collect them like Baseball cards. I asked "Are they really that much more clever than we were?" He said "NO". So it seems even then the standard had dropped, where has it dropped to now?

      Ronald - 2012-01-05 07:48

      Bruce, it has dropped so far that a matric student of 15 years ago would have passed the 30% pass mark on general knowledge alone. I wrote mine in 1983 and was shocked at the low level of grade 12 education. No wonder that tutors at university are coining it big time in order to help 1st year students catch up. After interviewing matric students of 2010 for jobs I cannot foresee them getting jobs as street sweepers as most were incapable of reading simple street names on a map. Two of the eight I interviewed could read with comprehension, only three could solve slightly complex maths, but I gave up when I read their application forms in detail. So many spelling mistakes, rambling answers on simple questions, mostly irrelevant to the question asked and written in such bad handwriting that a pharmacist would give up. Needless to say, I still do it all myself in my business.

      Hans - 2012-01-05 08:14

      @Ronald, I had a few applications from our current matriculants and they all wrote in sms language! We disqualified the entire lot of applicants.

      Donaker - 2012-01-05 09:11

      Not only the government should be blamed though. My wife worked on a primary school in the former Transkei as a psychologist. The complaint of the (very dedicated) principal was that parents demanded that their children pass, even if they could not read. If they did not pass they would take them to another school that would pass them. On a sideline: my wife was called in because 5-8yr olds were having full-on penetrative sex with each other. The parents would not come to discuss the matter unless paid money to do so. Even the parents who lived in walking distance of the school.

  • Bruce - 2012-01-05 04:46

    Sorry about the spelling; Should of course be "write".

  • Wendy - 2012-01-05 05:25

    I hope that the improved pass rate is true, and that the rate isn't up because the standard has dropped. That will prove nothing.

  • Heinrich - 2012-01-05 07:44

    Was Pythagoras politically correct? Please don't pollute education with politics.

      Xavier7034 - 2012-01-05 08:37

      The politicians are the ones making the poor calls on policy in SA....and elsewhere. The scene is already polluted.

  • Ryan - 2012-01-05 08:06

    The "step in the right direction" is not through obtaining higher matric pass rates, but through obtaining quality education. What has a high matric pass rate got to do with a high level of education? In the years that I have been at varsity, new subsidiary programmes have been popping out everywhere to sort out the new problems brought in by poor levels of secondary education. Are we trying to fix the education problems or mask them out? How much has Zuma's administration contributed to wasteful expenditure, I think it was R 4 billion. Imagine what that could do to our national education system...

  • pastor.k.malebe - 2012-01-05 08:06

    it is a positive step indeed

      Xavier7034 - 2012-01-05 08:38

      What is positive please.....a lower pass mark does not equal a better result. That is just plain politicking to save their own skins.

      Ryan - 2012-01-05 10:15

      Higher matric pass rates does not indicate a "positive step" necessarily. It indicates a lower quality of education. Come join me while I mark undergraduate tests and I'll show you the affects of this so called "positive step". Come to a university and see how more and more students battle to complete their studies.

  • Utopian - 2012-01-05 08:17

    Government itself reported earlier this year that only 20% of the State schools were functional. A 70% pass rate is ridiculous (despite the stat betrayed in Trevor Manuel's report that only 15% of them exceed the 40% mark, in other words they're all between 35% -the pass minimum - and 40%). I therefore fear that our President and his so-called Minister have no idea what the words "right direction" mean, probably the result of deficiencies in their own schooling. In fact the National Senior Certificate has now become a meaningless piece of paper, a tragedy for those who work themselves to pieces to get it.

  • justin.pretorius - 2012-01-05 08:26

    HAHAHHAH....the WC is tops!! I wonder why? Maybe no ANC to mess up the education system?

  • Clive - 2012-01-05 08:43

    Would someone please give a definitive answer as to what constitutes a pass - we hear that it might be as low as 30 percent. If this is the case, then the 70 percent pass rate is abysmal. Rather quote a figure for those who obtained a 50 percent aggregate: anything less than this is failure, in my opinion. If government is pleased, then we are doomed to continue at the bottom of the world-wide rankings in education standards. Further proof of government's determination to keep standards low - to keep the masses ignorant of its incompetence and corruption? - is its decision to have the final say in class sizes in former Model C schools. As with the health system, it wants to drag every aspect of society down to the lowest current level, instead of trying to raise the standards of the underperformers to match the best. Even Cosatu's Vavi has said that education is in crisis, but he must realise that one of the main reasons for this is that his SADTU has the final say on teacher performance in terms of pay rises and performance assessment.

      Buck - 2012-01-05 09:12

      Agreed! these fools are killing our kids with their silly standards. If the Matrics are so brilliant, can someone explain the large number of university dropouts after first year?

  • phumlani.mbatha - 2012-01-05 09:40

    we need a real turn around in the education sector, including higher education and not just basic education. get someone from Nigeria to tell you how they work their education system, and to tell you the truth, they produce best learners and graduates!

      Ryan - 2012-01-05 10:41

      If you did not know, our universities are reviewed periodically to affirm the international accreditation of the degrees on offer (such as the Washington accord etc.). The top universities in our country have international accreditation and maintained that standard over the years. Also, our universities fall into the top 20 in Africa. Furthermore, the only african university to show its face in the top 200 universities in the world is from South Africa. Lastly, looking at the Washington accord, Nigeria is not one of the signatories. So I don't know where you get your information that Nigeria has a better education system. This is simply not true. Producing better learners would help increase quality research output from Nigeria's university students (one of the criteria for international ratings). Where are Nigerian universities at the international scheme of things? Nigeria may give its own independent accreditation, but that is no comparison to actual international performance.

  • E - 2012-01-05 09:56

    What a joke. On a national opinion poll 86% of the respondents said the standards have been dropped and therefor the so- called good results. The minister will of course say that all is well etc. It is her department. If she was smart she would have restrained herself from commenting on her own performance and asked an independent onside opinion to comment. No wonder all better schools are converting to the IEB standards. Shame on those poor kids - many of whom have probably worked quite hard - who have been misled by the department and its shenanigans in thinking they have achieved a wonderful educational qualification.

  • Alva - 2012-01-05 11:39

    Indeed a step in the right direction. Educate, educate, educate! More educated South Africans, less ANC votes.

  • Eish - 2012-01-05 12:47

    Reducing passing rate in order to send large numbers of children to university so that you look good as a Minister for your 5 year term, does it warrant celebration? We all know that the very same learners will drop out in their first year.

  • Dexter - 2012-01-05 15:34

    Aim low and avoid disappointment !!! To those Matrix who passed well above ANC standards, well done and good luck.

  • Jimmy - 2012-01-05 16:39

    "[He] has hailed the ascending pass rate as a step in the right direction." Now mr president why dont you take a step in the right direction and lead by example and go back to school as well, perhaps obtain a slight degree of education..

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