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Matric pass rate: Political parties ask tough questions

Political parties say the results are not to be celebrated while there's still an unequal education system.

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga with top physical science achiever Hamandishe Mathivha. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Political parties say the 2015 matric pass rate only reveals that there are disparities in the education system where thousands of pupils drop out and are not accounted for.

While parties have congratulated matriculants on their results, they say the results are not to be celebrated while there's still an unequal education system.

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said despite the five percent drop in the 2015 matric pass rate compared to 2014, last year saw the highest number of pupils pass in the history of South Africa.

The class of 2015 achieved a 70.7 percent pass rate.

The Western Cape and Gauteng came out tops with 84.7 percent and 84.2 percent respectively.

The top performing district in the country was Sedibeng East in Gauteng.

Mosthekga said while the latest matric pass rate is lower than 2014, there's a lot more to celebrate.

"455,825 learners have passed in 2015. In terms of numbers, we've won the number game for 2015."

ECONOMIC FREEDOM FIGHTERS

The Economic Freedom Fighters' (EFF) Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said this pass rate does not show the true story of thousands of the 2004 grade ones who did not make it to get their National Senior Certificate.

"The minister is not telling the true story of this generation. More than 1.3 million of the students were enrolled in Grade 1 in this generation, and if that is taken into consideration the real, pass rate is 47 percent."

But Ndlozi said matrics must celebrate their success, particularly girls who performed above their male counterparts in the exams.

"You know in an increasingly anti-women society, girls are performing extremely well in comparison to boys. This is demonstration of a show of character of resilience, which must be nourished."

Ndlozi said the EFF is now calling on the Higher Education Department to make good on its promise to integrate all matriculants life and training after school.

"We want to appeal to the Department of Higher Education to stick to its promises, to make sure that it integrates all the learners, those who've passed and those who've failed, in the post-secondary education system because they kept making a commitment that they've got places."

Basic Education officials flanked by the country's top matric learners at the Vodacom Dome on 5 January 2015. Picture: @DBE_SA via Twitter.

DEMOCRATIC ALLIANCE

The Democratic Alliance's Gavin Davis said the results clearly show that pupils living in more fortunate areas fair better in the exams than those in areas still feeling the legacy of apartheid.

"It shows that there's really two educational systems emerging; one for learners from more advantaged areas and others for learners who're being left behind and I think we really to need address that disparity as soon as we can."

Davis said it's encouraging the progressed pupils faired so well in the exams despite the disparities in education.

"Even if you remove the progressed learners from the equation, there still would have been a drop and we also saw some of the progressed learners actually did quite well. I think 22,000 of them actually passed, so I don't think that's the only story."

Click here to _ visit EWN's matric portal_ which includes all the results.

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