Angie Motshekga has revealed that the matric pass rate for the class of 2020 has dipped by just over 5%, in the face of unprecedented challenges for learners and educators. Entire months of schooling were lost during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Basic Education Minister had acknowledged the influence this has had on the final results.

What is the matric pass rate for 2020?

The official number is 76.2% in 2020, compared with 81.3% in 2019. It marks the worst performance since 2018. However, compared with earlier years in the previous decade, the rate remains high – and crucially, above the three-quarters mark.

A total of 607 226 candidates enrolled to write the National Senior Certificate (NSC) examination. A total of 440 702 candidates attained the National Senior Certificate (NSC) – an increase of 30 796 from 2019 – and 24 762 more candidates attained admission to Bachelor Studies compared to 2019.

Matric pass rate over the past 10 years:

Department of Basic Education

  • – 2010: 68%
  • – 2011: 70%
  • – 2012: 74%
  • – 2013: 78%
  • – 2014: 76%
  • – 2015: 71%
  • – 2016: 73% 
  • – 2017: 75%
  • – 2018: 78%
  • – 2019: 81.3%
  • – 2020: 76.2%

Independent Examinations Board (IEB)

  • – 2010: 98.38%
  • – 2011: 98.15%
  • – 2012: 98.20%
  • – 2013: 98.56%
  • – 2014: 98.38%
  • – 2015: 98.30%
  • – 2016: 98.67%
  • – 2017: 98.76%
  • – 2018: 98.92%
  • – 2019: 98.82%
  • – 2020: 98.07%

Angie Motshekga hails ‘hard-working’ students

Interestingly enough, 65% of distinctions were attained by girls, including distinctions in critical subjects such as Accounting, Business Studies, Economics, Mathematics & Physical Science. Furthermore, 244 530 girls – compared to 196 172 boys – passed the 2020 NSC examinations. During her address, Minister Motshekga hailed the ‘resilient’ class of 2020.

“Despite the devastation brought by the pandemic, the department’s interventions were not based only on saving the academic year but also on ensuring that lives are saved. What is most encouraging is that the class of 2020 did not have holidays or weekends – the teachers also worked hard with learners. We thank everyone for their resilience.”

The matric exams concluded on 15 December 2020 after a strenuous academic year. The release of the matric results have been approved by Umalusi, the Quality Council in General and Further Education and Training. The Department of Basic Education said result queries should be submitted for investigation within 30 days after the release of results.

Matric College on the IEB pass rate

“Although the pass rate for 2020 was lower than in 2019, the IEB matriculants were still able to stay within the same 98 percentile range. This is an incredible achievement for the IEB with all the school days that were missed due to COVID-19.” 

“The pandemic and fewer school days have not seemed to make much of an impact on the IEB matric results of 2020. Whilst this is the lowest that we have seen the IEB matric results for some time, the IEB pass rate has not dropped below 98% for over 10 years. “

Jan Badenhorst, CEO of Matric College

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Presh JM Reporter

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