President Cyril Ramaphosa has congratulated matriculants who sat for the National Senior Certificate in 2020, saying they are scholars of courage.

He says in the face of great difficulties brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, learners have been resilient, doing themselves, their families, and their country proud.

The class of 2020 achieved a 76.2% pass rate despite the pandemic.

Ramaphosa has thanked the country’s educators, teacher’s unions, school staff, and parents for their support of the class of 2020. He has called on matriculants who did not pass to take advantage of supplementary exams offered by the Department of Basic Education.

The Free State has the highest pass rate of 85.1% in the country.

The province has dedicated the pass rate to the 66 teachers who died of COVID-19 complications.

Some Free State learners who performed exceptionally give the 2021 matric class some advice: 

Gauteng is the second-best performing province with the Western Cape taking third place.

A number of schools in the Western Cape have managed to produce improved matric results despite the challenges caused by the coronavirus.

Elswood Secondary School at Elsies River improved its pass rate from 55 to 84% with a spike in university passes from nine in 2019 to 28.

Education Ministry officials in the province have visited the school.

Principal, Marlon Kiewiet, attributed the achievement to the hard-working and dedicated staff.

“The extra classes at school profited our learners, especially those who repeated a particular grade. We had weekend classes for our learners. We had to provide study opportunities for them at the school during the week, Saturdays and Sundays.”

Provinces that did not perform well

Other provinces did not do so well. In Limpopo, seven schools achieved a 0% pass rate. The province recorded a 5% decline, at 68.2%.

Premier, Stan Mathabatha has called for stricter consequences for officials responsible for schools that performed poorly.

“In the past five years, this has been your performance, can you tell me what has been your reason to continue keeping you in this position that will assist even in other regions and districts to realise that we must work here? So, I think this is now time for us to start with the so-called consequence management. MEC, you know, you look at these continuous zero-result schools, the reasons are all known to us which says to us if we don’t act then we are complicit.”

Northern Cape Premier Zamani Saul has also expressed disappointment and anger at the 2020 provincial matric results. The province’s matric pass rate stands at 66%, the lowest in the country.

Saul says the poor results are a reflection of how 2020 was a difficult year for pupils and how the province needs to work harder. “

When I heard the minister making this announcement, I got enraged, I got exasperated, I got unnerved. I got very angry. I thought, how can we be the last out of the nine provinces? I  think the people of the Northern Cape are justified to be very angry about these results because I firmly believe that we have the capacity to do much better and we should use this year to turn things around.”

Minister Angie Motshekga announces the 2020 matric results: