The Independent Examinations Board (IEB) class of 2021 has achieved a 98.3% pass rate in the matric examination. Results were released at midnight last night. This is slightly higher than the 2020’s pass rate of 98.06%.
All candidates who achieved a pass that is good enough to enter the tertiary study at one of the three levels.
The class of 2021 experienced disruptive changes of an unprecedented nature over a period of two critical years in their academic careers.
CEO of the Independent Examinations Board, Anne Oberholzer says these Grade 12 learners were the true victims of COVID-19.
She says the class of 2021 has had to dig deep mentally and emotionally to find the strength to face the tremendous challenges of a radically changed teaching and learning environment:
“We are very proud of the class of 2021, they have achieved a 98.3% pass rate. I think quite a lot of the challenges that impacted the class of 2021 is the fact that they have had 2 years of schooling affected by COVID-19. They had to get used to a completely new way of working with online learning.”
There’s no doubt that online learning cannot replace a good teacher in a classroom. However, Oberholzer says access to technology is what allowed learners to pass grade twelve.
She has acknowledged the strain and stress teachers have undergone to adjust their teaching style in order to adapt to an online environment.
“If one good thing has come out of the pandemic, it’s that technology and education can no longer be ignored. We have to extend the opportunities of online learning to the most vulnerable in society.”
Gauteng tops 2021 IEB examination
A number of learners in the province of Gauteng have topped the class of 2021 in the IEB examination. 18-year-old Amaya Lakmeeharan from Redhill School in Morningside, Johannesburg, has obtained 8 distinctions. She was awarded an Outstanding Achievement as she achieved within the top 5% in 6 or more subjects and achieved a rating level of 7 in Life Orientation.
She wishes to pursue Biotechnology at Stellenbosch University this year. “It was obviously a lot of pressure from family and school to do well because I did so well in the year. 2020 was the lowest of the lows. It was incredibly difficult with harsh lockdown laws. Because of 2020, we had a little bit of experience going into a matric year in 2021 with online learning.”
Meanwhile, 19-year-old Chloe Mallet also from Redhill wrote the International Baccalaureate or IB examination where she excelled achieving 42 out of 45 points, ranking amongst the highest matric results in the world. The IB is an Internationally graded curriculum.
Chloe, who was awarded Academic Honours last year, wants to pursue Film and Television Production in the United States.
“I decided to do this curriculum, even though it’s more rigorous than the IEB, because I wanted something new. I had been learning the same way since I was very young. It’s a big deal because you are being graded against people from all over the world. I am really ecstatic. When I got them, I was shocked and overwhelmed.”
The King David High School in Linksfield Gauteng is also home to IEB top achievers. 19-year-old – Shannon Wolpe has obtained nine distinctions in all his subjects. He says, to his surprise, he thrived with online schooling. He will be studying Medicine at Wits University or the University of Cape Town this year.
“I found that I flourished in a different environment. Somehow I managed to go forward and excel with my work despite the circumstances. I tend to gravitate towards a challenge. Grade 11 was more challenging than matric because it was a complete utter abrupt stop to anything social and interactive.”
It seemed that a year of online schooling in grade 11 prepared the class of 2021 for the changes to their learning patterns in matric.
18-year-old Riki Toubkin also from King David High School says the challenge of the year was missing out on social interactions. The teenager obtained 9 distinctions in all his subjects with a 95% aggregate.
“It’s a dream to be on the outstanding list. It’s a great feeling, very rewarding. Academics is the only real place where you are in competition with yourself. Our school was brilliant, they didn’t falter at all. Online school was the same as in person. The only thing you missed was the social aspect. Hopefully, I’m going to the states to study medicine.”
Results from the National Senior Certificate Examination will be released Wednesday night.