Minister of Education Angie Motshekga and other officials with the top matrics for the Class of 2019. Picture: Karen Sandison/African News Agency (ANA)
Minister of Education Angie Motshekga and other officials with the top matrics for the Class of 2019. Picture: Karen Sandison/African News Agency (ANA)

Matric results 2019 by the numbers

By Staff Reporter Time of article published Jan 8, 2020

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Cape Town – The matric class of 2019 made history by exceeding an 80% pass rate for the first time, with President Cyril Ramaphosa saying the highest pass rate since 1994 is a "clear signal that government’s substantial investment in education, in pupil and teacher support and educational infrastructure is yielding results".

We look at some of the numbers: 

787 717 – The number of candidates who wrote the 2019 National Senior Certificate (NSC), comprising full- and part-time students.

81.3% – The overall pass percentage of the class of 2019 – a 3.1% improvement on the previous year.

186 058 – The number of matrics who achieved a bachelor’s pass, a 3.3% improvement on the previous year. A total of 144 762 matrics secured a diploma pass and 78 984 a higher certificate pass.

54.6% – There was a 3.4% drop in the number of students who passed maths from 58% in 2018.

88.4% – The Free State was the best performing province, followed by Gauteng (87.2%), North West (86.8%), Western Cape (82.3%), KwaZulu-Natal (81.3%), Mpumalanga 80.3%, Northern Cape (76.5%), Eastern Cape (76.5%) and Limpopo (73.2%).

31 – Gauteng had the most schools to achieve a 100% pass rate between 2015 and 2019. The Western Cape was next with 27 schools and Free State third with 18.

5.9% – The Eastern Cape was the province that showed the biggest improvement.

44.5% – Gauteng had the highest number of bachelor passes, followed by the Western Cape, which had the highest percentage of distinction passes, with 43.6% and Free State with 39.1%. 

6 – KwaZulu-Natal had six schools where less than 40% of pupils passed. Mthambo High School in Nungwane saw just 10% of pupils pass.

2 576 – The number of pupils with special needs who wrote the NSC, with 1 221 obtaining a bachelor’s pass.

212 – More than 200 pupils wrote their exams at correctional facilities.

2 484 – The number of quintile 1 to 3 schools performing at an overall pass percentage of 80% increased from 1 961 in 2018 to 2 484. This represents 50% of the total number of quintile 1, 2 and 3 schools.

60% – Not one of the country’s 75 districts performed below 60%, with 45 (compared to 34 in 2018) performing at 80% and above.

96 976 – The total of admissions to bachelor studies from quintiles 1, 2 and 3 schools, compared to 78 037 from quintiles 4 and 5.

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