AS IT HAPPENED | Free State tops the pile, 2020 Matric pass rate at 76.2%

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Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga announced the National Senior Certificate results for the class of 2020. Here's how it went down.

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22 February 16:54

Motshekga says it is a pity that the results dropped from 2019, but praised schools' resilience in this unprecedented and difficult year.

She says 2020 had scored more distinctions than in previous years, saying that this year may have been even better without the pandemic. 

She says this year "has been characterised by resilience... faced by the worst pandemic in history."

The minister thanks various stakeholders and closes her address.

22 February 16:49

BREAKING | Tshwane south the top district

Motshekga says the district of Tshwane south was the best performing in SA. Behind them was Gauteng west, then Gauteng north, then Johannesburg north, and fifth is Sedibeng in the Gauteng 

22 February 16:43

JUST IN | Free State tops the country in terms of results

Motshekga has announced the provincial pass rates:

Free State: 85.1%
Gauteng: 83.3%
Western Cape: 79.9%
KZN: 77.6%
North West: 76.2%
Mpumalanga: 73.7%
Limpopo: 68.2%
Eastern Cape: 68.1%
Northern Cape: 66%

22 February 16:41

BREAKING | The Matric pass rate has been announced

Motshekga has announced the 2021 Matric pass rate is 76.2% - it is, however, a drop of 5.1 percentage points. She said she expected a "blood bath" in the results, but commended the class year.

She says 76% of boys had passed, vs 75% of girls. Motshekga says more girls received Bachelor's Passes.

There were 72 000 more girls in the 2020 year than in 2019.

Motshekga says full-time inmates 71 out of 133 got Bachelor's Passes. There were no distinctions. This represents a pass rate of 83.6%.

From non-fee-paying schools, 275 615 pupils achieved Bachelor's Passes. Motshekga says that this shows that pupils from poorer areas are coming up.

More than 2 161 pupils with special needs took the Matric exam, and 2 058 passed. More than 900 obtained a Bachelor's Pass, and there were 563 distinctions among them.

Motshekga says 70 560 pupils had progressed from Grade 11 to write Matric in 2020. She says more than 65 000 of those sat through the exams. Of those, more than 24 000 passed. A total of 1 065 distinctions came from that group.

Motshekga says an inclusive education system is the way forward for the country.

22 February 16:31

Motshekga says there were 147 exam papers set, and more than eight million papers in total were printed. There were more than 65 000 invigilators. There were 45 272 markers to work across 179 marking centres. She says government representatives visited all marking centres.

22 February 16:30

Motshekga says the 2020 class was the first to write some of the new subjects. This was the second year of the sign language, technical science and civil technology exams.

She says this year was the first to break up the accounting paper into an accounting paper and a business paper. 

The total number of pupils that wrote were 725 034.

22 February 16:28

Motshekga commends all pupils and teachers for showing "resilience" in "braving the novel Covid-19".

She says "we had to work hard to ensure that class of 2020 received support."

She brings up the leaking of a maths and a physics exam paper, Motshekga says an Umalusi report found that there were no "structural" factors that led to the exams getting leaked. 

22 February 16:26

Motshekga says there were ICT interventions, like the provision of data, visual classes and radio lessons to circumvent the problems brought on by the pandemic. She says corporates and NGOs had come to the party and assisted the government in realising these goals. 

22 February 16:25

Citing observations from the World Health Organisation, Motshekga says the pandemic put pupils at risk of social ills such as teenage pregnancy. She also cites other information saying that pupils in 2020 would have missed out on the social benefits of schooling. 

22 February 16:23

Motshekga says the staggered reopening of schools from June saw a loss of more than a term. The trimmed curriculum, school feeding, provision of psychosocial services showed that the country's education system could deal with the challenges brought on by the pandemic. 

22 February 16:22

Motshekga says these results show an "upward trajectory" in pupils' performances from several grades. 

The minister now turns to the NCS results, saying that the government's interventions were targeting pupils who were performing poorly, those who are average, and also top achievers, to support them in approving results. "This we had to do while managing Covid-19," she says.

22 February 16:20

The minister says the government is committed to "inclusive education, and the sector will continue to strengthen [its ability to cater for] pupils with special needs."

The minister announces that the country has participated in international benchmark tests, one on reading and another on maths and science, and the country's performance "providing evidence that our education system is a system that is on the rise."

22 February 16:18

Motshekga says the government is looking at bolstering pupils' ability to read, and is also concerned about early childhood development. 

"The other priority for this term, is developing a curriculum for the ever-changing world. To prepare pupils for the fourth and fifth industrial revolutions," and decolonising the curriculum.

She says again that the government will be offering a general education certificate to allow pupils to "follow multiple pathways" after Grade 9. 

22 February 16:16

Motshekga recites one of government's goals for 2030, saying that pupils in international standard tests "should be comparable" with SA pupils.

She says the 2020 year will be "remembered as a year that faced a major health crisis... and government worked very hard to strike a balance between saving lives and saving the year."

22 February 16:13

Minister Angie Motshekga is speaking now

22 February 16:11

RECAP | Here is a thread of an earlier technical briefing from the DBE

22 February 16:10

Mhaule says the department had worked hard to ensure the 2020 schooling year was a success in spite of the serious challenges.

She has wrapped up her address.

22 February 16:08

Mhaule says teachers need to embrace subjects like Life Orientation, and schools need to implement better infrastructure to "prepare for natural crises like Covid-19".

She says that in 2021 the DBE is committed to boosting the use of African languages. She adds that all 12 languages (including sign language) is being seriously looked into as being implemented in schools. 

22 February 16:06

Mhaule says the 2020 school year was a "turbulent storm", but despite of all the challenges - like Covid-19 - she says the department, through its various interventions, pulled through. 

She says, however, this year's class may have missed its opportunity to make full use of the academic year. 

She says the pandemic "reshapes the department's existing priorities... like improving the value of learning outcomes."

22 February 16:03

The briefing has begun...

The deputy minister Reginah Mhaule has taken the podium.

22 February 15:33

How are your nerves?

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga, along with deputy minister Reginah Mhaule, are due to announce the National Senior Certificate (NSC) exam results at 16:00.

The class of 2020 will no doubt go down as one of the most difficult years for matriculants, who have had to manage the pressures of their most important school year yet along with the burdens brought on by Covid-19.

The IEB results were released last week, and education experts have warned that public schools may not mirror the results of their private counterparts. This, in part, because public schools in the main are less equipped with resources like virtual learning and so forth.

Follow the briefing live on News24
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