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Matric results: Announced pass rate vs ‘real’ pass rate

Matric results: Announced pass rate vs ‘real’ pass rate

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga is pleased with the results of the National Senior Certificate (NSC) exams for 2021, with the class having achieved a pass rate of 76.4%, up marginally from 76.2% for 2020’s candidates. But the figure isn’t quite accurate, depending on who you ask.

Motshekga announced the matric results on Thursday evening, 20 January 2022.

The accuracy of the official matric pass rate has always been challenged, including by the Democratic Alliance (DA) and NGO Equal Education. The DA is yet to give its official reaction to the matric results, but when it does, its “real” national pass rate will likely be much lower than the one announced by the Department of Basic Education. This is because the party uses Grade 10 enrolments as a way to measure what it says is the true pass rate.

When the 2020 matric results were announced, the DA said the pass rate for that cohort was 44.1%, significantly lower than the 76.2% declared by Motshekga at the time.


According to Equal Education, the “real” national pass mark from the 2021 matric results is 54%. The NGO also believes using the throughput rate of learners from Grade 2 (to matric) will give a more clearer picture.




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