President Cyril Ramaphosa has lauded the matric Class of 2020..Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)
President Cyril Ramaphosa has lauded the matric Class of 2020..Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)

President Cyril Ramaphosa lauds matric Class of 2020

By IOL Reporter Time of article published Feb 23, 2021

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President Cyril Ramaphosa has lauded the matric Class of 2020, describing them as “scholars of courage”.

“In the face of great difficulties brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, our learners have been resilient; they have done themselves, their families and their country proud,” Ramaphosa said.

The matric results were announced on Monday by the Department of Basic Education (DBE). The matric pass rate showed a slight drop from 81.3%, in 2019, to 76.2%.

According to education experts, the 5.1% drop is far less than what was expected due to disruptions made to the academic year, which included school closures.

While the Independent Education Board schools also experience a drop to 98.07% compared to 2019’s 98.82%.

Ramaphosa said last year’s matriculants had to prepare for the crucial exam under challenging and highly pressured conditions, necessitating adjustment to the lockdown restrictions as well as extra work and effort.

He thanked the country’s educators, teacher’s unions, school staff and parents for their support to the matriculants throughout the school year.

“This support our young people received made all the difference, making it possible for the crucial final year of schooling to be salvaged,” President Ramaphosa said.

The President applauded the 75.8% pass rate among female matriculants. He said this laid an important foundation for the empowerment of young women in the country.

Ramaphosa said the matric class of 2020 were inheritors of the mantle of the brave generation of 1976.

In tribute to the Class of 2020, he recalled Tebogo ‘Tsietsi’ Mashinini who at a meeting in Soweto just days before the fateful protest in 1976 delivered a speech to reassure the anxious students.

“Against the greatest of odds our matriculants persevered to write their exams last year; as Tsietsi said that day, let us indeed honour the charge they made,” President Ramaphosa said.

The President urged those who did not pass the exam to take advantage of supplementary exams, the DBE’s Second Chance programme and other support mechanisms.

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