Cape Town - The official opposition in South Africa, DA, believes the 2021 matric pass rate does not reflect reality and will reveal the ‘actual pass rate’ after studying the detailed results.
“The matric pass rate announced by Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga is an inflated 76.4% that does not reflect the reality,” DA’s Shadow Minister of Basic Education Baxolile Nodada said on Thursday.
Nodada reveals the education department does not account for the number of dropouts between grades 10 and 12.
“We know that 897 163 learners wrote the examination, but the Grade 10 enrolment in 2019 was 1 045 424. This means that at least 148 261 learners dropped out of the system and did not complete matric,” Nodada states.
“The actual figure is much higher if we consider the students who wrote the examination but failed,” Nodada adds.
The DA is under the belief that this is due to lockdown regulations implemented by the education department and is in the process of bringing an urgent interdict to allow schools to open fully.
“The minister must stop whitewashing the matric results in an attempt to mask the systematic failures of her department and rather implement innovative school retention strategies,” Nodada said.
The DA further wants Motshekga to:
- Do away with the rotational timetables
- Track learners who drop out
- Accelerate the development of a curriculum that is relevant to the country's economy
Meanwhile, former DA leader turned founder of the civic organisations One South Africa Movement (OSA), Mmusi Maimane, is calling Motshekga to resign and be replaced with a minister who “believes in the talent of SA’s youth”.
Maimane shared a petition for the public to support his call, at the time of writing there are 244 signatories.
The petition cites dropout rates, a low rate of matriculants scoring higher than 50% in mathematics among other subjects, and low literacy rates - all of which is said to affect the market and the unemployment crisis.
The class of 2021 was the first to experience grade 11 and 12 under a national state of disaster which included lockdowns and school closures to name a few of the regulations imposed.
South Africa’s matric pass rate in 2020 was 76.2%, and 81.3% in 2019 - before the Covid-19 pandemic and all of its consequences were felt.