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LETTER: DA says KZN’s real 2021 matric pass rate is 54.7%

Matric 2021 big achievers in and around Durban. File Picture: Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency(ANA)

Matric 2021 big achievers in and around Durban. File Picture: Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency(ANA)

Published Jan 26, 2022


The Democratic Alliance can today reveal that the real 2021 National Senior Certificate (NSC) pass mark in KwaZulu-Natal is 54.7%.

The figure takes into account the overall number of learners who began Grade 10 in 2019 and the number that passed their matric.

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Leading academics have long supported this method of calculating the numbers and have stated that the matric class – and results – is an accumulation of achievements of a cohort of learners, which begins in Grade 10. The DA supports this stance.

In KZN, there were 233 941 learners who began Grade 10 in 2019. Of this cohort, 127 990 passed matric in 2021. This means that the real pass mark for last year was 54.7%. Similarly, if we look at the national pass rate for that same period, just over a million learners entered Grade 10 in 2019 and 537 687 passed matric in 2021. This means that the country’s real pass mark in 2021 was 51.4%. This figure drops even lower if one looks at how many Grade 1 learners entered the system 12 years ago and how many passed matric in 2021.

While education experts had expected the country’s overall pass mark to be lower than that of 2020, the drop in KZN was a mere 0.8 percentage points. The DA believes that the Education Minister, Angie Motshekga, her Department and KZN’s Education MEC, Kwazi Mshengu, are doing our learners a terrible disservice by continuing to inflate the numbers, in order to make themselves look good.

To create real improvement in terms of the pass rate, the following areas need to be brought into sharp focus by the MEC and his Department;

• Proper leadership within schools and KZN’s education department, and an accountable political leadership

• Proper infrastructure within schools

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• Proper parental involvement within schools

If any one of these elements is missing there can be no proper classroom environment in place. All of this points to the need for a dramatic overhaul of our education system and an urgent review of the current State of Disaster as a result of Covid-19. The manner in which we look at Covid-19 and how it is applied within schools must change so that our learners can return to full-time schooling and not lose anymore classroom days.

Dr Imran Keeka, DA KZN spokesperson on Education

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