INFOGRAPHIC | Provinces with best matric results since 2019

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The past couple of years can be categorised as taxing for families and especially learners working towards progressing from grade to grade with the eventual hope being to reach and pass matric.

We look at how the nine provinces have performed over the years amidst COVID-19 restrictions, ever-present rolling blackouts and the rising cost of living.

The performance of matric classes in the past 3 years shows that the Free State consistently topped the pass rates in South Africa for 2019, 2020 and 2021, while Gauteng and the Western Cape held the 2nd and 3rd spot respectively.

Numbers released by the Department of Higher Education and Training show that the National Pass Rate has not moved since 2011 and holds, managing to stay above 70%.

In 2021 there was a slight improvement with the pass rate moving by 0.2% – from 2020’s 76.2% to 2021’s 76.4%.

Full-time and part-time students who registered for matric examinations across the country in 2022 rose by 3% to 923 460 from 2021’s 897 163 participants.

A close look at these numbers indicates that despite the struggles of the past couple of years from lockdown to having to study from home, a then unfamiliar territory, learners persevered, managing to progress through the grades regardless of it all.

After all the hard work and struggle through rolling blackouts learners for the class of 2021 will only be able to know how they have done for their final exams on January 19, 2023. This seems to be becoming a norm as the class of 2020 only received their results in February 2021.

Although the Free State led overall according to the Department of Education, Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal had more matriculants earn a Bachelor’s degree entry-level pass in 2021 and were eligible for a Bachelors degree program at South African universities for the beginning of the academic year in 2022.

Limpopo in 2021 was the only province to get a pass below the 70% mark.

The ‘late’ release of results for the class of 2021 has been condemned by some, more openly by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) which cites possible negative impacts to the new university entrants.

The National Pass rates from 2019 to 2021: 2019: 81% | 2020: 76% | 2021: 76% (76.4%)

However, the Department of Higher Education and Training says the impact of the late release of matric results won’t affect the state of readiness for the 2023 academic year.

EFF National Spokesperson Leigh-Ann Mathys says the delay will negatively affect pupils from an underprivileged background much more.

“We condemn the incompetency of this ANC government led by Ramaphosa who have failed to release the results for the year 2022 timeously. This delay has a ripple effect on the transition of the learners to post-secondary school education and training sector…”

“It also affects planning by families who are unable to proceed with logistical arrangements related to their children’s post-matric studies. We call on the Department of Education to detest from jeopardising the lives of our young people. It is unjustifiable that an examination process which concluded last year December has not yielded results to date,” added Mathys.