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Despite matric pass rate drop, WCED ‘pleased’ with quality of passes

The Western Cape Education Department says once the matric results have been analysed further it will engage on a strategy to improve it at the end of 2019.

FILE: Two Matriculants from Modderdam High School in Bonteheuwel. Picture: Cindy Archillies/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) says once the matric results have been analysed further it will engage on a strategy to improve it at the end of 2019.

While the Western Cape has seen a slight drop in the pass rate in 2018, the WCED says it is pleased with the quality of passes.

The class of 2018 scored an 81.5% pass, down compared to 2017’s 84.4%.

Provincial education MEC Debbie Schafer says they're satisfied with the increase in passes in maths and physical science: “Our most important criteria need to ensure that we have quality in the system and that we retain as many learners in the system between grade 10 and 12, so that they can pass their matric. Even though our percentage has dropped slightly, but our quality indicator of maths and science and bachelor’s pass rate have increased.”

‘I ALMOST GAVE UP’

Matriculants from Bonteheuwel, one of the areas plagued by gang violence, say they look forward to what the future holds.

Eyewitness News spoke to some learners at Modderdam Secondary School.

Tamia De Lilly nearly dropped out because of bullying: “I overcame bullying... I almost gave up on myself. It got so much that I almost dropped out of school. I was persistent, never allowed the bullies to get me down and it paid off.”

One of the top achievers, Doniquah Allies says she worked hard to ace her finals: “I’m completely overwhelmed. I thank God that I made it. The plan for 2019 is to study Psychology and the University of the Western Cape. I had to make sacrifices including friends and sometimes family to achieve these results.

WATCH: Passing matric against all odds

Meanwhile, the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (Sadag) has urged those who did not do well in their matric exams to seek help and talk to close friends and family.

The organisation says it’s normal to show disappointment when results don’t go your way.

The class of 2018 achieved a 78.2% pass rate, which is up 3.1% from 2017.

“There are so many different options like remark, supplementary exams, bridging courses. One can re-do certain subjects to increase your marks. We really want to urge all matriculants who are feeling helpless and hopeless, that yes it’s normal to feel down but there’s help available,” says Sadag operations director Cassey Chambers.

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