Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga today announced the pass rate for the matric class of 2020 is 76.2%, down 5.1% from 2019’s matric pass rate of 81.3%.

This, however, only tells part of the story. Looking at the number of learners that enrolled in 2018, it reveals a “real” matric pass rate of 44.1%.

“The number of learners that enrolled in 2018 in Grade 10 was 997,872. Only 440,702 of these learners wrote and passed Matric in 2020,” the DA’s Shadow Minister of Basic Education, Bax Nodada said.

The situation looks even worse when looking at how many learners who started in Grade 1 in 2009 passed the matric exam twelve years later.

The class of 2020 started with 1,072,993 learners enrolled in 2009 as Grade 1s, which calculates to a real pass rate of 41%.

“The serious concerns plaguing the South African basic education system will never be addressed if the Department continues to try and bury the truth of their ineptitude,” said Nodada.

“This pass rate is disappointing and indicative of the chaotic nature of the 2020 academic year, coupled with the historic challenge of South Africa’s extraordinarily high drop-out rate.”

Due to years of neglect of the educational system, many children have fallen out of the education system and have been forgotten.

“Many of them face the prospect of a lifetime of inequality, poverty and unemployment due to the curriculum being irrelevant to the job market,” said Nodada.

He added that the education system is not producing the right skills, and entrepreneurship and innovation are not being prioritised.

“Unless the Minister and the Department urgently engage with stakeholders to address these failures, the true Matric pass rate will plummet, to the detriment of our children and all our futures,” he said.

The table below details the “real” matric pass rate based on both the metrics mentioned above.