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By Editorial staff

Journalist


Tough times, but matrics made it

Nothing should be taken away from the class of 2022.


Numbers, as evidenced in the past, is not always our government officials’ strong point. In reporting back to parliament – or the country for that matter – many a number has been butchered by a minister … or even a president.

There’s no wonder, then, the National Senior Certificate (NSC) matric pass rate of 80.1% – announced by Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga on Thursday – is being disputed.

It’s all politics – and no element of life is off limits for opposition parties and fierce critics of the government and the education system. They believe the improvement of 3.7% on the previous year can’t be correct.

ALSO READ: Matric class of 2022 faced difficulties unlike any other post-1994

The Democratic Alliance (DA) insist the real figure is only 54.6%, an increase from 2021’s 50.4% – if you take into account the number of pupils who dropped out and never made it to matric.

Former DA leader Mmusi Maimane has been equally scathing. Their arguments are good.

In a statement the DA said: “A large number simply stop their education entirely. What makes the national 45.4% fail rate and high dropout rate particularly concerning is that many of those pupils contribute to the country’s staggering youth unemployment of 59.6% (six in every 10 young South African is unemployed) – a little over 3.5 million youth are not in education, employment or any form of skills training.”

It added: “Considering that the pass mark in some subjects is as low as 30%, only 38.4% of matrics achieved a bachelor’s degree pass – a shockingly low number when compared to the Independent Examination Board (IEB) bachelor’s degree passes of 89.32%.”

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Number arguments aside. Nothing should be taken away from the class of 2022. All three of their senior years were effected by Covid. However, the majority have found a way. We wish them the very best.

If they can clear these obstacles, there’s no stopping them – even in today’s tough environment.