Matric pass rate of 76.4% shows the system has improved, says education minister

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Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga.
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga.
Sharon Seretlo/Gallo Images
  • Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has announced that the matric pass rate for the class of 2021 is 76.4%.
  • It is a slight improvement from 2020's 76.2%.
  • Matric candidates can get their results at schools on Friday.

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has announced that the 2021 matric pass rate is 76.4%.

This is an improvement from the 2020 pass rate of 76.2%.

The 2019 pass rate was 81.3%, and those candidates were the last to write exams before the Covid-19 pandemic hit.

In announcing the pass rate, Motshekga said: "It is important to remind the nation that for the past 10 years, the NSC [National Senior Certificate] pass rates have consistently been going up from 60% in 2009, to above 70% in recent years. The Class of 2021 must be commended for maintaining this trend, despite the astronomical challenges they faced."

Find your matric results here when available and read all the latest news

With 733 198 full-time candidates, this was the largest class in the history of matric exams, said the basic education department's director-general, Mathanzima Mweli.  

"They went through extraordinary school years. In 2020, when lockdown started, they were in Grade 11. Their schooling was disrupted in many ways.

"This class had to learn at home, away from their peers, away from their teachers. This class needed psychosocial support … as many of them lost their parents, teachers and caregivers," Mweli added. 

Motshekga said the results showed the education system was improving. 
There is no doubt that the system has begun to reach the desired stability; which is healthy for a large system, as large and important as ours. The unquestionable resilience our school community has shown against such a devastating pandemic cannot go by unnoticed. The fact that we managed to enroll the highest number of full-time candidates for the 2021 NSC exams, is a clear sign that our communities have faith in the basic education system, and the NSC exams we are co-ordinating.

In terms of provincial performance, the Free State again was the best-performing province with a pass rate of 85.7%. 

Gauteng came second at 82.8% and the Western Cape achieved 81.2%. Limpopo was the only province to achieve a pass rate below 70%. It only managed to get 66.7%. 

The Class of 2021 managed to produce 211 725 distinctions - an increase of 19.3% from 2020, Motshekga said.

"It is remarkable to note that the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo - the three most rural provinces in the country - produced a combined total of 121 312 Bachelor passes, and an improvement of 26.6% from 2020.

"It is also noteworthy that the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo were also able to produce a combined total of 88 072 diploma passes, which is equivalent to 49.6%; and an improvement of 23.1% from 2020," she added.

Matric results will be available at schools on Friday. 

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