Matrics proudly show off their matric results. Picture: Thobile Mathonsi/African News Agency/ANA
Matrics proudly show off their matric results. Picture: Thobile Mathonsi/African News Agency/ANA

Minor drop in IEB matric pass rate

By Zodidi Dano Time of article published Feb 19, 2021

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The Independent Examinations Board (IEB) has recorded a minor decline of 98.07% in its National Senior Certificate (NSC) matric pass rate, compared to the previous year’s 98.82%.

Over 12 000 full-time matric pupils wrote their 2020 exam, with 1 139 part-time candidates registered at 233 IEB examination centres across the country, Mozambique, Namibia and Eswatini.

According to the IEB NSC results released on Friday, 88.42%, compared to 89.51% in 2019, of the cohort achieved entry to study towards a degree qualification. About 8.14% of the candidates, compared to 7.91%, in 2019 qualify towards a diploma, while 1.51%, compared to 1.4% in 2019, qualify to study towards a higher certificate level.

Anne Oberholzer, CEO of the IEB, said: “The excellent performance of the class of 2020 under very difficult circumstances underscores the importance of the years of good, solid teaching and learning prior to the grade 12 year.

“These achievements are proof that the grade 12 year on its own does not provide the understanding, perseverance and resilience needed to achieve excellent results in the matric year – but that is the culmination of work and learning over 12 or 13 years of quality schooling.”

She said one of the coronavirus pandemic’s impacts was the withdrawal of pupils from completing the year. She said many opted to postpone completion of grade 12 until this year.

Oberholzer said it also changed the way of teaching and learning at many schools.

“Some schools were able to make a smooth transition to online teaching and learning as they had the resources available and in fact, had already been using them in the normal course of events. Their teachers were experienced in this mode of delivery, as were their pupils who had access to devices and stable internet connectivity.”

She said in situations where adequate resources were inaccessible, teachers “reverted to traditional distance education strategies. In some cases, they prepared weekly learning programmes for pupils using textbook references and notes together with prepared exercises and tasks.

’’These were emailed to learners where possible, physically delivered to or collected by learners and family members from the school. The completed tasks were returned to the school for marking and possible further teaching intervention if required”.

Another change brought on by the pandemic that affected IEB schools was the shift of some pupils to join distance and online education providers as well as some being home-schooled.

“Suffice to say that the educational consequences of the pandemic have brought home a new societal respect for teachers and the role they play in the development and progress of pupils,” Oberholzer concluded.

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