“To fulfil their commitment to teach their learners and not be defeated by the pandemic, teachers in these situations reverted to traditional distance-education strategies … prepared weekly learning programmes for learners using textbook references and notes together with prepared exercises and tasks.”
She added that some schools also saw a number of pupils leaving to join distance and online education providers, and there was also an increase in the number of children being home-schooled.
Oberholzer said as the exams grew closer, a number of pupils opted to write only a few subjects in 2020, postponing examinations in other subjects to 2021.
“Understandably, learners with comorbidities or who shared their home with vulnerable family members were fearful of contracting Covid-19 while writing. Despite the extraordinary efforts of schools to manage these specific cases, there were still those cases where the child or the parents could not take the risk.
“The excellent performance of the class of 2020 under very difficult circumstances underscores the importance of the years of good, solid teaching and learning before the grade 12 year.
“These achievements are proof that the grade 12 year on its own does not provide the understanding, perseverance and resilience needed to achieve excellent results in the matric year – but that it is the culmination of work and learning over 12 or 13 years of quality schooling.”
She said the closing date for remarking applications was March 3 and the results from this would be released on March 26. The closing date for learners who qualify to enrol for the supplementary examination is April 16.
Oberholzer said the 2020 performance in advanced programme (AP) mathematics, consisting of 1,325 learners from IEB schools and 841 learners in state schools, was pleasing, with 84.3% achieving a pass above 40%.
From a total of 639 pupils offering AP English, 97.65% achieved a pass mark of 40% or above; all learners offering AP Afrikaans achieved a mark of 40% and above.
Gauteng had more than 50% of the IEB learners (7,068), followed by KwaZulu-Natal (2,201), the Western Cape (1,358), the Eastern Cape (612) and Mpumalanga (385).