Drop In Matric Pass Rate Not Covid Related - Dept

The Department of Basic Education has said that the decline seen in 2020's Matric pass rate is not Covid related and would have actually been very close to last year's pass rate. The Matric Class of 2020 achieved a national pass rate of 76.2%.


Director-General (DG) of the Department of Basic Education (DBE), Mathanzima Mweli, has said that the drop in the Matric pass rate is actually not Covid related.

The DG explained that the cohort of progressed learners, learners who were put over, in 2020 contributed to the pass rate drop because modularisation was discontinued for grade 12 learners last year.

Modularisation refers to the policy where progressed learners were able to write their grade 12 examinations over a two-year period giving them multiple opportunities to write their National Senior Certificate exams.

Instead, these progressed learners wrote all their exams in one sitting this year.

More than 70 000 pupils were progressed into the Class of 2020 and over 24 000 passed. According to Mweli, if they weren't included in the pass rate, it would have been 81.2%, only 0.1% down from 2019's pass rate.

This class was the first class to carry the burden of the 11% of learners who were not modularised. If you exclude them, the class goes up to 81% plus... Part of the burden has been learners who had to write all the subjects despite the fact that they were progressed.

During her Matric announcement on Monday, DBE Minister Angie Motshekga said that progressed learners from 2019 did not receive the necessary support because of the challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. She then continued to explain that this brought the general pass rate down.

The reason behind the department's progression policy was to see a lower dropout rate and maximising the number of students held back instead.

The Matric Class of 2020 produced a pass rate of 76.2% which shows a decline of 5.1% when compared to last year's pass rate.

The overall pass mark has improved this year, as well as the passes of distinctions, said Motshekga. The Class of 2020 is said to have given the best academic performance in the system.

Of the passes, 36.4% were Bachelors passes, 26% were Diploma passes, 13.7% were Higher Certificate passes and only 0.01% were National Senior Certificate (NSC) passes.

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