Matrics from SA's poorest areas go for gold

A professor says the 32,5% increase in the number of bachelor passes by the learners must be celebrated.

FILE: The National Senior Certificate passes for quintiles 1 to 3 combined, increased from 199,505 in 2014 to 280,370 in 2015, a 40.5 percent increase. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - A UCT Professor says the 32,5 percent increase in the number of bachelor passes achieved by matric pupils from the country's poorest communities is a fact that must be celebrated.

No fees schools, categorised under quintiles 1 to 3, have produced more passes than the two other categories.

The rankings are determined according to the poverty of the community around the school and other factors.

Professor Murray Leibbrandt is the Director of the Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit based at UCT.

He says the increase in the number of bachelor passes in poor and rural communities is a significant development.

"The problem was that all of these learners were coming out of better schools. So we weren't reaching into the poorer areas in our society and opening up these opportunities that will create the middle class in South Africa."

Leibbrandt says the quickest way for a young person to get ahead in life is to get a tertiary qualification.

Yesterday, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said the fact that quintile 1 to 3 schools produced more bachelor passes, in terms of learner numbers, helps to close the gap between schools serving poor communities and those serving affluent areas.

The National Senior Certificate passes for quintiles 1 to 3 combined, increased from 199,505 in 2014 to 280,370 in 2015, a 40,5 percent increase.

The passes for quintiles 4 and 5 combined increased from 106,315 in 2014 to 151,376 in 2015, a 29,8 percent increase.

The number of bachelor passes for quintile 1 to 3 schools combined increased from 56,731 in 2014 to 84,038 in 2015, a 32,5 percent increase; while the bachelor passes for quintile 4 and 5 schools combined increased from 50,674 in 2014 to 73,810 in 2015, a 45,7 percent increase.

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