IEB matriculants Ciara Anning, Deniel Darmant and Caitlin Mollentze were proud as they collected their matric results at their school in Irene. Picture: Thobile Mathonsi/African News Agency/ANA

Pretoria - The Congress of South African Students (COSAS) on Wednesday called for the cancellation of the Independent Examination Board (IEB) National Senior Certificate issued for private schools, saying it created division and strengthened inequality.

The statement comes in the wake of results this week from last year's high school ending matric exams which showed a much higher pass rate for students in private schools than the national score.

The Department of Basic Education reported a national pass rate of 81.3 percent for all South African schools, but this was much higher at 98.82 percent for just the IEB schools.

"IEB must be scrapped as an urgent matter because it has an element of making other learners feel less more important than others who have the privilege of getting different results even before them," COSAS said.

It noted that a study conducted by the University of Cape Town showed that IEB candidates made up a quarter of the institution's graduates in December 2007.

"The drop-out rate of IEB matrics was only two percent compared to an estimated 35 percent to 50 percent at South African universities on the whole," the student body said.

It called on basic education minister Angie Motshekga to hold discussions with officials from the country's provinces on how to improve their matric results. The Gauteng and Free State provinces have tended to outperform the other seven in recent years.

In the latest results, Free State claimed top honours with an 88.4 percent pass rate, while Gauteng came second with 87.2 percent.

African News Agency (ANA)