Drop in number of matric pupils who passed maths with 40% and more is worrying - Nzimande

2020-01-16 17:50
Dr. Blade Nzimande, Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology. (Morapedi Mashashe)

Dr. Blade Nzimande, Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology. (Morapedi Mashashe)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

The drop in matric mathematics passes is worrying, Higher Education, Science and Technology Minister Blade Nzimande has said.

Nzimande addressed the media in Pretoria on Thursday over the availability of space and opportunities at public universities and TVET colleges.

He said the number of students who achieved 40% and above in the subject was lower than in 2018.

A total of 121 179 candidates who wrote the National Senior Certificate (NSC) examination achieved 30% and above in mathematics, while 77 751 achieved 40% and above.

"What this means is that in most Bachelor's degree programmes that require mathematics, like engineering, medicine, etc., students who got lower than 40% in mathematics won't be accepted. Unless of course they can have exceptional results in other subjects.

"The worrying thing for us is that in 2019, the actual number who passed with 40% or above in mathematics was lower than the number in 2018. The number in 2018 was 86 874 and in 2019 it was 77 751, which means it's a drop," the minister said.

Nzimande added spaces for more than 201 000 prospective new students were made available across the country's 26 public universities and 226 685 for TVET colleges.

The universities, however, would be expected to enrol within a 2% range, meaning the actual numbers after registration could be up to 4 020 more.

The minister urged all pupils who failed not to despair, but to explore and consider other options, including the second chance matric support programme and other post-school education and training opportunities.

NSFAS cannot fund failing students

For the 2020 academic year, the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has received a record number of applications of more than 500 000.

Nzimande said applicants included those who were writing their 2019 NSC examinations, grades 10 and 11 pupils intending to further their studies at TVET colleges and returning pupils.

The NSFAS has so far approved 430 000 applications.

"A total of 281 639, about 52%, of all applications received thus far, are Sassa beneficiaries. We are proud of this because it means the government's system is able to ensure support for the poorer sections of our communities, right from birth, until the attainment of a qualification at a university or a college," Nzimande said.

Universities vs TVET colleges

Upon analysis of application statistics, according to institutions of choice, more students preferred universities than TVET colleges, the minister noted.

He said statistics showed that 453 157 students preferred admission at universities, while 90 111 opted for colleges.

More than 212 000 returning university students have been declared eligible for the NSFAS in the 2020 academic year.

This is the first time that the fund has declared students eligible ahead of them registering, causing no hiccups for free registrations to those accepted at institutions.

TVET returning students are yet to be processed as the NSFAS works with college principals to determine whether they meet the criteria for academic progression.

"That's why we want to say here loud and clear - students who have failed and do not qualify for the NSFAS can't be funded because if we had to do so, we would be reinforcing a wrong thing and depriving students who are capable of doing better," Nzimande said.

Read more on:    blade nzimande  |  education  |  university fees
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.