While many students from Class of 2013 are celebrating the release of the latest matric pass rates, many individuals in the eduction sector are asking numerous questions about the quality of the matric results and about the dropout rate of students. There are also questions about the number of students achieving university exemptions.
Basic Eductaion Minister Angie Motshekga announced that the national pass rate for the class of 2013 is 78.2 percent, a rise of 4.3 percent from 2012.
Since the dawn of democracy 20 years ago, the matric pass rate has improved especially over the lat 4 years with a 20 percent increase. President Jacob Zuma described the students from the 2013 class as the ‘best matric class’ since the abolishment of Apartheid.
Zuma reiterated that education has been and will continue to be one of the key government priorities. Motshekga stated that the recent matric results are proof that the education system in South Africa is improving and that it was time to reap the benefits of the hard work of the government and education department.
What is encouraging from the results is that schools from disadvantaged areas showed a dramatic improvement and progress. Western Cape MEC Donald Grant is overjoyed with the province’s results and that the results exceeded the department’s target and expectations. The Western Cape pass rate increased from 82.8 percent to 85.1 percent. Not only to overall pass rate improve in the Western Cape but also the quality of the pass rates. Of the 40,000+ students who passed matric in the Western Cape, 19477 qualified for a Bachelors Degrees.
Concern for SA Education System
There are numerous individuals, education experts, and opposition parties who are still skeptical wight eh recent results and have raised may questions about the credibility of the recent results.
The main over all concerns pertain to the quality of the pass rate, especially when it comes to maths and science and the overall number of students who qualified to further their education and training. There is also a major concern over the number of students who dropped out of school and failed to write their matric exams.
A professor from the University of South Africa’s College of Education, Vuyisile Msile, stated that he is aware that not all students want to enter into the fields of engineering, medicine or finance, however, maths and science still remain crucial. Even though the pass rate for maths and science are showing signs of improvement, there is still a concern as to the number of pupils attempting to write their maths and science exams.
Another concern is the widening gap and correlation between results and discrepancies between poor and well-resourced school and this remains a fundamental challenge for the education system on whole. Equal Education spoke out and aired their views about the dropout rate of students across the country.
There were also issues raised by Equal Education with regard to the quality of teaching, basic services at schools and the delivery of textbooks and learning material, which continues to be a crucial issue to be dealt with.
Cope leader, Mosiuoa Lekota, has described the quality of South African school education as mediocre and stated that the current leadership of country ‘ is way out its depth and have absolutely no qualms about celebrating mediocrity. Many of the students who have supposedly passed matric will battle to find employment or gain admission to a tertiary institution.”
Over the past few years, South Africa productivity has steadily declined and can be directly attributed to quality of education offered across the country and the high level of unemployment was a by product of the dismal education system according to Lekota.
Overall, there were more than 700,000 students who wrote the final exams in 2013 and 551 schools were able to achieve a 100 percent pass rate. there were over 67,000 distinctions in 12 main subject areas and the number of students who qualified for a bachelor’s degree increased to 30.6 percent.
Source: sanews.gov.za, news24.com, ewn.co.za,