Following the release of the 2020 matric results, students across the nation will now collect their individual marks on Tuesday. Education Minister Angie Motshekga revealed that the pass rate for this year’s matriculants was 76.1% – a respectable effort for an academic year blighted by COVID. However, some schools showed no signs of ‘pandemic fatigue’.
Every year, education specialists Gradesmatch release a ‘top 10 table’ of the best-performing schools in South Africa, based on their distinctions-per-learner ratio. Assessing schools with a minimum of 20 matriculants, the data shows that the bar was set particularly high in Gauteng – which is also home to six districts with ‘the highest pass rates’ in Mzansi.
This year, the Central Islamic School in GP takes the top spot, averaging 3.5 distinctions per learner. Star College in KwaZulu-Natal isn’t trailing far behind in second, and three other schools in Gauteng – Afrikaanse Hoer Meisieskool, Hoerskool Waterkloof, and Lenasia Muslim School – make up the top five.
Two other KZN institutions feature in the top 10, as does one representative from Free State – the province with the highest pass rate for this year’s matric results. However, the Central Islamic School’s position at the top is by the barest of margins, as just 22 learners sat their exams – narrowly avoiding the minimum cut-off point:
The National Professional Teachers Organisation of South Africa (Naptosa) has hailed learners for displaying ‘resilience’ in the face of a challenging academic year. Beyond the release of these matric results, the union now wants the Department of Basic Education to address the fundamental challenges that existed in our schools, way before COVID-19 landed:
“That we managed to achieve a pass rate of 76.2% in the face of the adversity Grade 12 learners experienced in 2020, is beyond expectation. Lessons learned in 2020, must serve to improve schools in 2021 and beyond. It is imperative that more attention is paid to the health and safety of teachers and learners…”
“The crumbling school infrastructure must be attended to; overcrowded classes can no longer be the order of the day; lessons learned about online teaching and blended learning must be taken to all schools; our online platforms must be grown, and more practical implementation – and less lip service – of service delivery must become the order of the day.”