File picture: African News Agency (ANA)

Johannesburg - The independent Examination Board (IEB) matric cohort have again passed their exams with flying colours.

The IEB pass rate is 98.82%, only slightly lower than last year’s 98.92%.

The IEB had 11818 full-time and 779 part-time candidates for Grade 12 last year, who registered at 227 IEB examination centres across the country, Mozambique, Namibia and Eswatini. They will receive their results on Tuesday morning at their exam centres.

IEB chief executive Anne Oberholzer said 89.51% of the cohort achieved entry to degree study. While 7.91% qualified for entry to diploma study and 1.4% achieved entry for study at the higher certificate level. IEB also offers advanced programme (AP) courses in maths, English and Afrikaans.

The 2019 AP mathematics cohort had 1351 learners from IEB schools and 993 learners in government schools. Oberholzer said 67.36% of the learners achieved a pass above 40%.

From a total of 624 learners taking AP English, 93.86% achieved a pass mark of 50% or above; all learners taking AP Afrikaans achieved a mark of 40% and above.

IEB also offers a Combined Abitur-NSC through German schools in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Pretoria. The qualification consists of five subjects assessed by the IEB and seven subjects assessed by the German education authorities. Of the 71 candidates who offered this qualification, 100% passed with entry to degree study.

National Teachers Union’s Allen Thompson said it was possible for public schools to achieve a pass rate as good as IEB candidates. Last year’s public school pass rate was 78.2%.

“In public schools we are still confronted with the problem of poor infrastructure. Factors like schools not having libraries and good sanitation make our lives difficult as teachers.

“If you go back to about 2008, the pass rate was about 62%, but last year we were approaching 80%.

“The only thing that must happen is that the department monitors the money used in provinces to ensure it assists the education system to improve,” Thompson said.

He said IEB results were always better because the schools were well-resourced.

“If we are talking about the Fourth Industrial Revolution while learners don’t have laptops, then we have a problem. The IEB learners have laptops and iPads in their classroom and their teachers are using smart boards,” Thompson said.

Oberholzer also warned parents against institutions that offer learners an international qualification that claim to be better than National Senior Certificate (NSC) and the CAPS curriculum.

“The claims play to the flawed perceptions of many South Africans who believe that if anything is international and not local, it must be superior. This exploitation of the insecurities of parents and learners exposes an incomplete understanding of the South African educational order, and the quality and standing of the country's NSC both locally and internationally.

“The reality is that the NSC is not only recognised by all South African universities, but also by a substantial number of top universities across the globe. If the NSC is offered in conjunction with the Advanced Programme courses, it opens doors to even the most prestigious universities across the globe,” Oberholzer said.

IEB candidates who are unhappy about their results have until January 13 to apply for re-marking. Those results will be released on February 6.

Today, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga is expected to announce the pass rate for the NSC results in Midrand.

A total of 790405 candidates sat for 147 question papers in 7416 examination centres nationwide. Another 212 candidates wrote at correctional facilities.

Motshekga will host a breakfast with the top achievers this morning before announcing the pass rate to the nation on Tuesday evening.

The Star