By Andrea Chothia for The South African
The DA has claimed that the matric pass rate is incorrect after the announcement of the 2019 results by Basic Education Minister, Angie Motshekga.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) has called the Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga’s bluff saying that her announcement of 81.3% for the 2019 matric pass rate is incorrect and the “real” pass rate is in fact 38.9%.
In the statement, the DA congratulated each learner who passed the NSC examination, however had this to say:
“Whilst Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga and the Department of Education are celebrating an all-time high matric pass rate of 81.3%, the Democratic Alliance can reveal that the real pass rate is in fact 38.9%.”
Why a pass rate of 38.9%?
DA Minister of Basic Education, Nomsa Marchesi explained that in 2017, a total of 1 052 080 learners were enrolled in grade 10, yet only 409 906 learners eventually passed matric last year.
“This means only 38.9% of grade 10 learners actually wrote and passed matric,” said Marchesi.
“This is for the most part, due to an extraordinarily high drop-out rate, which means that hundreds of thousands of learners are denied the chance to write matric, let alone pass it,” she added.
Dismally failing system
Marchesi said that this is an indication of a dismally failing system and not a functional and successful one.
“The DA-led Western Cape is the province with the lowest drop-out rate (33.4%) and therefore the highest real pass rate, standing at 54.8%,” said Marchesi.
According to the Department’s calculation and in their opinion, disregarding the drop-out rate, the Free State is the top-performing province with a pass rate of 88.4%.
“The truth, however, is that this province’s real pass rate only stands at 38.4%.”
The ‘real’ national pass rate for 2018 was 37.6%. The ‘real’ pass rate of 2019 is, therefore, an improvement of a mere 1.3%,” the statement explained.
DBE punts national pass rate to shift focus
The DA claimed that for years the DBE has punted the national pass rate because it shifts the focus from their “perpetual failures as an ANC government.”
“The slow poison of drop-out rates between grades 10 and 12 is eating away at the future of the youth of this country,” the statement added.
The statement said that since 2015, which saw the highest number of pupils to write their matric exam, there has been a steady decline each year. It went on to add that another concern is the shocking pass rate from June results of the Multi Examination Opportunity (MEO) – only 7.1% passed.
“Nevertheless, however dismal this percentage is, it is used to inflate the pass rate and when phased out this year, the high drop-out rates will inevitably increase. Only then will we see the real performance of the Department,” said Marchesi.
“If we carry on this trajectory, more than half of all learners who start Grade 1 this year, will never see the inside of an NSC-exam room,” she added.