Matrics score high amid pandemic

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Two top achievers in the matric class of 2020 with Tate Makgoe (Free State MEC for Education). From the left are Marc van der Nest (St. Andrew’s School, Bloemfontein), Makgoe and Neo Mthombeni (Ngwathe Senior Secondary School, Edenville). Photo:Mlungisi Louw
Two top achievers in the matric class of 2020 with Tate Makgoe (Free State MEC for Education). From the left are Marc van der Nest (St. Andrew’s School, Bloemfontein), Makgoe and Neo Mthombeni (Ngwathe Senior Secondary School, Edenville). Photo:Mlungisi Louw

The DA in the Free State has congratulated all 2020 matriculants who obtained their National Senior Certificate (NSC) in a very trying year.

The learners achieved this despite difficulty due to Covid-19, which disrupted learning and teaching across the world.

The 2020 results were announced on Tuesday, 23 February.

The Free State achieved a 40% bachelor pass rate, as projected.

Tate Makgoe, MEC for Education, had indicated at the start of the examination in November that the target was a 40% bachelor pass rate, and a 90% pass rate overall.

The matriculants in the province attained a 85,1% pass rate – the highest of all nine provinces in South Africa. However, this showed a drop in the rate compared to the class of 2019, who achieved 88,4%.

Over 49 000 candidates wrote the 2020 matric examinations. Out of this number, more than 29 000 were full-time candidates.

Of the learners who achieved bachelor’s degree passes for university entry, 36,76% qualified for diploma study, while 15,75% were cleared for higher certificate study.

“We would like to wish all matric graduates well for the future,” said Mariette Pittaway, DA member of the Free State Legislature and party spokesperson on education.

“A special note of thanks should also be extended to all the dedicated parents, teachers, school principals, and departmental officials in the province for their commitment, dedication and hard work towards educating our youth in preparation for adult life.”

According Pittaway, it is concerning that a significant number of learners who were in gr. 10 in 2018 did not reach matric last year.

“It is also noteworthy that in 2018 there were 56 101 learners registered for gr. 10 in the Free State, and of these only 23 779 learners passed in 2020, which represents a real pass rate of 42,38%.

“This means that more than half of possible matric learners dropped out of the basic school system, relegating half a generation to difficulty in finding employment and further entrenching a cycle of poverty and human misery in the Free State,” said Pittaway.

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