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Equal Education statement: Annual matric pass rate a misleading barometer of the true health of the schooling system

19 January 2024

Equal Education statement: Annual matric pass rate a misleading barometer of the true health of the schooling system

“Matric was challenging and daunting initially but…writing my final exam was made simple because of the intervention of my principal and teachers.” – Matric Equaliser, Vezukhono Secondary School, Gauteng

Yesterday, 18 January, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga announced a national 83% pass rate for the matric class of 2023. These learners navigated their high school years under difficult conditions in the sector, including COVID-related learning losses linked to rotational school attendance, trimmed curriculum, and extensive learning recovery in their grade 10 and 11 years. Many of these learners also had to face increasingly difficult circumstances in preparation for their final examinations brought on by rolling electricity blackouts (loadshedding), climate shocks, and disruptions to crucial school interventions such as the National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP). 

Equal Education (EE) celebrates the diligence and commitment of the class of 2023 in surmounting the challenges of the past three years to reach this important milestone. We also commend the time and effort teachers, parents and communities invested in supporting them. Despite the hard work it shows, the national matric pass rate can be misleading of the true performance of the schooling system and the sector, and must therefore be interpreted with caution.

Download and read our full statement here

Leanne Jansen-ThomasEqual Education statement: Annual matric pass rate a misleading barometer of the true health of the schooling system