Two out of three grade tens don’t pass matric

Two out of every three grade 10 pupils never go on to pass matric, according to the South African Institute of Race Relations.

Sad statistics

Fewer than half of those who enrolled in grade 10 in 2008 sat for the 2010 matric exams. Of the same 2008 cohort, only 34% actually went on to pass matric in 2010, and only a third of those passes were good enough to gain admission to university to study for a bachelor’s degree.

The Institute’s analysis is based on data released by the Department of Basic Education.

Matric is no guarantee for employment

Those who have not completed secondary education plus those whose highest qualification is matric account for 81% of all unemployed. Only 6% of the unemployed are people who have completed a tertiary education.

Schooling still seen as “irrelevant”?

‘Learner retention is a very serious problem afflicting the South African schooling system’, said Mr Jonathan Snyman, a researcher at the Institute. He added that ‘most pupils who drop out before completing high school do so as a result of a lack of funds. Other common reasons that pupils leave school are to look for work or because of family commitments. There is also a common view that being at school is not relevant to their lives’.

Not working, not training, not in school: Where are they?

Mr Snyman added that ‘the biggest problem is that pupils who drop out of school often never return to finish their education. As many as a third of all 15–24 year-olds are not in employment, education, or training’. [From a press release: SAIRR, January 2012]

It’s tragic that the final stretch of schooling appears to be the one most abandoned by pupils. After working so long and hard to get to the most important period, they become distracted, overwhelmed by academic pressure or simply give up.

In SA, a child is required by law to attend school until the age of 15, and may only be employed at 15 if he has completed grade nine.

What do you think causes teens to abandon schooling in their final two years?
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