Experts say pass matric rate is a surprise

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SA top matrics Independent Newspapers South Africa's top matriculants in 2013 attended the announcement of the results by Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga at the SABC studios in Auckland Park, Joburg. Photo: Matthews Baloyi


Johannesburg - Education experts are impressed and surprised by the improvement of the matric pass rate.

On Monday night, Wits dean of the faculty of humanities Professor Ruksana Osman said: “I’m very pleased.”

She added that the improvement in maths and science was a surprise. However, she said she would need to have a look at the quality of the results before commenting further.

“I remain very cautious about the quality of those passes. We would like it to be between 50 and 70 percent, because we can’t say that’s an improvement if it’s still at the level of between 30 and 40 percent. That’s not good enough,” Osman said.

Another expert, Professor Leketi Makalela, from the Wits School of Education, said a 78.2 percent mark was a very good improvement.

But he was quick to point out that a 78.2 percent pass rate was not good enough if benchmarked against international standards.

He added: “We should be worried that we are still further away from 90 percent. We should be aiming at getting between 90 and 95 percent, and anything thing less than that we should be worried about.”

Makalela said the 78.2 percent pass rate took into consideration only about 50 percent of the pupils who had entered the schooling system in past 12 years. The rest had dropped out of school.

Professor Marissa Rollnick, also from Wits School of Education, said the improvement in the matric pass rate was “almost too good to be true”.

She added: “It’s just a little bit too much of an increase. To achieve that kind of improvement is a bit too much.

“It means teachers and learners are becoming comfortable with the OBE curriculum that the minister (Angie Motshekga) doesn’t like.”

However, Rollnick said the results were very encouraging.

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