Matric class of 2021 makes history despite challenges

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KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng contributed most to the Bachelor passes, with 117 704 between the two provinces, which is equivalent to 46 percent of the overall Bachelor pass nationally.

The class of 2021 has obtained the highest number of Bachelor passes in the history of the National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations.

Education Minister Angie Motshekga revealed this when she announced the overall pass rate
at 76.4 percent on Thursday.

Iman Khan from Port Shepstone on the KwaZulu-Natal south coast is one of the top achievers nationally.

He says, “As a matriculant of 2021, I can say that we proved our metal and went through with all the circumstances, especially with COVID-19 breathing fire down our backs and uncertainty during the looting period. However, with the help of our creator, educator and communities, we overcame our grievances.”

The class of 2021 was lauded for obtaining the highest number of Bachelor passes in history:

Limpopo is the worst-performing province

Meanwhile, Limpopo Education MEC Polly Boshielo announced the provincial 2021 matric examination results in Polokwane.

Boshielo says the matric class of 2021 has suffered the consequences of the COVID-19 and this has led to poor results.

Limpopo is the worst performing province in the 2021 academic year, sitting at 66,7%, a decline by 1,5% from 2019.

MEC Polly Boshielo says pre-existing learning deficits, that may have existed prior to the outbreak of the pandemic in 2020, the group of 2012 suffered a double blow and had to deal with the harsh reality of COVID-19 for two consecutive academic years.

The COVID-19 pandemic and rotational learning negatively affected the matric 2021 results in Limpopo, she adds.

She also says classroom time for learners was drastically reduced from the time they were in Grade eleven and says the challenges that this group experienced cannot be underestimated.

“Due to the reduced teaching and learning time, the 2021 cohort was exposed to trimmed and adjusted annual teaching plans that excluded content covered by previous Grade 11 cohorts. The knowledge gap brought into Grade 12 by Grade 11 learners cannot be overlooked. Furthermore, this group was not exposed to formal, full-scale examinations in Grade 11 as previous cohorts, as well as in June common examinations of Grade 12, and therefore did not have the same examinations fitness that prior candidates had,” Boshielo says.

Hits and misses of 2021 matric results:

Thato Kale 18, from Mahikeng in the North West, managed against all odds to achieve a Bachelor’s pass.

It was a challenging year for the matriculant from the Kebonang Secondary School who not only had to cope with the COVID-19 restrictions but also studied by candlelight during rolling power cuts.

Kale says, “I am actually excited because judging from last year I didn’t think that I would do as good as I did and I hope to achieve more because it’s been a rough couple of years and I am actually glad I managed to get a Bachelor’s degree.”

North West matriculants begin to collect results

Class of 2021 by SABC Digital News

Additional reporting:Katlego Nyoni & Hoosen Ebrahim