Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga is proud of the class of 2020 for achieving a 76.2% pass rate.
In what was the most bizarre academic year, 2020’s matric results saw a decline of 5.1% from the 81.3% achieved by the class of 2019.
The drop is linked directly to the disruption in the academic calendar brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Concern over drop in key subjects
Education experts are concerned by the failure rate in physical sciences and maths above the overall performance and pass rate.
The class of 2020 dealt with many challenges in acquiring their matric qualifications, which included the final examination leak that marred the release of the results.
All provinces performed above 70%, with five achieving a pass rate above 80%.
Once again, the Free State topped the list with a 91.6% pass, followed by Gauteng with 83.8%.
The South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU) said last year’s matriculants deserve the country’s praise for enduring the most challenging year.
The union commends schools in rural townships and those without a fee structure who were the hardest hit by the effects of COVID-19.
General Secretary Mugwena Maluleke has called on learners who did not pass to register for the department’s second chance matric program.
Weigh the options
An education expert has called for a focus shift on what learners are expected to do after completing matric.
Professor Mary Metcalfe said society places too much emphasis on university being the only and legitimate progression after twelve years of schooling.
This creates pressure on learners and limits their choices on what they can achieve post matric.
The release of matric results is usually a challenging time for many pupils and their parents, raising anxiety over their academic future.