The recent announcement of South Africa’s matric pass rate has sparked a heated debate between the government and the Democratic Alliance (DA).
While the Department of Basic Education (DBE) celebrated an 82.9% pass rate for the class of 2023, the DA claims that the real pass rate is only 55.3%.
The DBE hailed the achievements of the 2023 cohort, highlighting their resilience and dedication in the face of a challenging year. With nearly 900,000 students sitting for the National Senior Certificate (NSC) exams, the results were seen as a milestone in the country’s education system.
However, the DA’s shadow minister of basic education, Baxolile Nodada, expressed scepticism about the DBE’s pass rate.
According to Nodada, the real pass rate takes into account the number of learners who dropped out and never made it to matric. By considering the dropout rate and including technical and vocational education and training (TVET) learners who pursued matric after grade 9, the DA calculates a lower pass rate.
Nodada criticized the government’s focus on quantity over quality, claiming that the real pass rate is an indicator of both the DBE’s lack of success and the country’s educational challenges.
He argued that Minister Angie Motshekga is disconnected from the issues faced by children in the public school system.
The debate over the matric pass rate reflects the ongoing concerns about the quality of education in South Africa. While the DBE celebrates the progress made in the past 30 years, the DA raises valid questions about the dropout rate and the need for improved educational outcomes.
In the coming days, more provinces will announce their matric results, shedding further light on the state of education in South Africa.
As the country strives for educational excellence, it is crucial to address the concerns raised by the DA and work towards a more comprehensive and accurate assessment of the matric pass rate.