Despite months of school closures and being forced to adapt to the new way of schooling, the matric class of 2020 has came out with a 76.2% pass rate, representing a drop of 5.1% as compared to 81.3% in the previous year.
Basic education Minister Angie Motshekga announced the long-awaited results on Monday afternoon, following a thumbs up of the final results from quality assurance board Umalusi last week.
All nine provinces saw a decrease in their pass rates.
Despite leaked examination papers for mathematics and science, the country’s matriculants outdid expectations, with the Minister having expected a “blood bath”, she said.
“The overall pass [rate], including progressed learners, is at 76.2%, which is a drop of 5.1%. As much as we have a drop, I am really grateful to all South Africans for helping us because I was expecting a blood bath,” said Mothsekga.
The Free State province again took the number one spot, with a 85.1% pass rate, declining by 3.2% from 2019. Gauteng again came in second place, declining by 3.5% to 83.8%.
While Gauteng were the runner up, they outperformed all districts, with the top five performing districts falling under the province.
For the second year in a row and the third time in the past five years, the Tshwane South district has taken the cup.
“Tshwane south is the top district nationally… The second district is Gauteng west, the third is Gauteng north, the fourth is Johannesburg north and the fifth is Sedibeng in the east of Gauteng,” the Minister said.
The North West province, which was regularly in the top four best provinces, however, saw a dive in their pass rate, significantly decreasing by 10.6%.
But despite the decrease, the quality of learners was impressive. The number of distinctions had improved, said Motshekga.
“We have got more quality from this class ever in the system. We are of strong views that had it not been for this virus, this class would have given us the best performance in this system.”
“We are indeed very proud of your class which persevered against such monumental challenges that our system has never been exposed to in the past. It has been characterised by resilience which we stood an unprecedented test of administering an examination of the largest number of candidates faced by the worst pandemic.”