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Challenges ahead as 2015 matric national pass rate drops to 70.7 per cent

The 2015 matric exam national pass rate has dropped to 70.7 per cent, down from 75.8% in 2014.

This is according Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, MP, during the Announcement of the 2015 NSC Examinations Results at Vodaworld, Johannesburg, last night (January 5).

If so-called “progressed learners” had not been added to the total, the pass rate would have been 74 per cent.

“It must be mentioned that for the past four years, the NSC pass rate has been above 70 per cent. The Class of 2015 must therefore be commended for maintaining this trend. They are the largest cohort in the history of basic education in the country,” said Motshekga.

The total number of candidates who registered for the November 2015 NSC examinations was 799 306, written by 667 925 full time candidates and 131 381 part time candidates.

This is 110 thousand candidates more than those enrolled for the 2014 NSC examinations.

“This means 455 825 candidates have passed the 2015 NSC Examinations, the largest in history. This represents an increase of 51 952 candidates from those who passed in 2014. The national pass rate without progressed learners would have been 74.1 per cent.”

She also mentioned that the increase in the number of learners qualifying for admission to Bachelor Studies, increased from 150 737 in 2014 to 166 263 in 2015.

According to her, the performances in mathematics and physical science, which are gateway subjects, have also shown an increase in the number of passes, although the pass percentage in these subjects has decreased.

The number of learners passing mathematics has increased from 120 523 in 2014 to 129 481 in 2015; while the number of learners passing physical science has increased from 103 348 in 2014 to 113 121 in 2015.

“In 2015 there were 3 711 more distinctions achieved by learners than in 2014.

“In 2014, 157 913 distinctions were achieved, whereas in 2015 161 624 distinctions were achieved. In the 12 key subjects (including mathematics, physical science, accounting, among others) the total number of distinctions increased from 59 981 in 2014 to 63 348 in 2015.”

The top performing province for 2015 is the Western Cape, which achieved 84.7 per cent, up from 82.2 per cent in 2014. Gauteng was close on its heels with an 84.2 per cent pass rate.

Motshekga said the three worst performing provinces – also the country’s three biggest rural provinces – caused a 9 per cent drop in the pass rate. They had 53 per cent of the country’s pupils.

Basic Education Director General Mathanzima Mweli confirmed the largest number of candidates came from KwaZulu-Natal, followed by Gauteng and Limpopo.

The Minister also mentioned that the Class of 2015 is the second cohort to write the National Senior Certificate (NSC) examination that is aligned with the internationally benchmarked National Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS) curriculum.

“This cohort has benefited from the maturity of the system garnered over the last seven years. CAPS is a high knowledge curriculum.

“It places a premium on cognitive demands from learners. CAPS emphasises subject content and assessment as the centrepiece of curriculum implementation.”

The Minister also reminded learners who did not fair so well that this is not the end of the world.

“We have a special intervention to assist all of you. The Second Chance Matric Programme is intended to provide support to learners who have not been able to meet the requirements of the National Senior Certificate by increasing learner retention.

“The categories of learners who will be covered are those learners who qualify to write Supplementary Examinations for a maximum of two subjects, progressed learners who pursue multiple opportunities to complete the NSC, and learners who failed to meet the requirements of the NSC in 2015.”

For the Minister’s full speach click on the following link

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