#Matric2015: 'KZN, Limpopo & EC are where things went wrong'

Roleplayers in the sector are calling for action to be taken instead of acknowledging challenges.

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

JOHANNESBURG - While Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga says she's not disappointed by the drop in the matric pass rate, roleplayers in the sector are calling for action to be taken, instead of merely acknowledging challenges.

Amid the calls for concrete action to be taken to improve the pass rate and concerns around South Africa's quality of education, Motshekga says the focus must now shift to supporting Grade 10 and 11 pupils.

The minister announced last night that 70.7 percent of matriculants passed the 2015 National Senior Certificate exams, that's a five percent drop from the previous year and a second consecutive decrease.

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

KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo and the Eastern Cape are the worst performing provinces.

Motshekga said the three provinces contributed substantially to the overall pass rate drop in 2015.

"Between KZN, Limpopo and the Eastern Cape, that's where things went wrong."

She acknowledged that more work needs to be done to improve teaching and learning in the country, especially in rural areas.

"Clearly we must pay attention to KZN, Limpopo and the Eastern Cape, if we're to improve the overall picture because that's where the majority of children of the nation are."

The department said it will conduct a more detailed analysis on the effect of pupils who were promoted to matric despite having failed Grade 11 on the overall national pass rate.

Top 2015 matriculant from King Edward VII School (KES) Mziwenene Mabuse, achieved 8 distinctions. Picture: KES

Thousands of former pupils will return to their high schools today to collect their matric certificates.

While matric pupils can download their results from several services, they will have to go back to school to collect their National Senior Certificate.

For some, this is a ticket to tertiary education which they will use in the next few weeks as they embark on the next phase of education.

Gauteng and the Western Cape were the two best performing provinces.


A lone school teacher has so far arrived here at the Glen High School the gates are expected to open in the next hour.

Nearly 800,000 pupils sat for the exams, making it the largest group since 1994.

These pupils are among 24 of the country's top achievers and have some advice for the class of 2016.

The teacher said, "You need a good stamina because there's a lot of exams in Grade 12 and you have to start working hard early in our high school days. I was studying, so by the time we opened for Grade 12, I had already finished the syllabus. Make studying your hobby, so that it doesn't seem as hard work."


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 Minister Angie Motshekga congratulates top achiever Andrew Tucker. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN


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.