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Motshekga hails Class of 2021's 76.4% pass rate despite challenges

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said the top achievers’ breakfast held yesterday was one of the key events on the sector’s calendar. Picture: Supplied

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said the top achievers’ breakfast held yesterday was one of the key events on the sector’s calendar. Picture: Supplied

Published Jan 20, 2022

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THE 2021 matric pass rate has increased to 76.4%, a slight increase from the previous year’s from 76.2%. This was announced by the Department of Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga on Thursday.

Motshekga said: “The Class of 2021 must be commended due to the astronomical challenges they faced. The pass rate stands at 76.4 %an improvement of 0.2%. This includes the results from the progressed learners. This represents a record of 537 687 candidates, who passed the 2021 NSC examinations – an improvement of 21.9% passes from 2020. Without the progressed learners, the overall pass rate stands at 79.8% – just 0.2% below the 80% pass rate.”

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A total of 897 163 full time candidates registered to write the 2021 National Senior Certficate (NSC) examination, which started on October 27 and concluded on December 7,2021.

According to the DBE this is the largest full time cohort over the last few years. This cohort is also the youngest cohort to write the final exams with 80% of the candidates aged between 18 and 20.

Motshekga said this cohort also had to endure a lot of policy changes as the department let go of the policy of progression. There were changes made to subject question papers as well. The accounting and business studies exam papers were split in two and there was also a third additional question paper in the Second Additional Language subject.

Of the Class of 2021, 256 031 - about 36.4% - passed with a bachelor pass which is an admission to university, an improvement of 21.4% from 2020. Both KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng were commended for contributing the most to the bachelor pass.

“This represents 36.4% of the total number of candidates, who wrote the 2021 NSC exams. By the way, the 2021 bachelor passes in number, is the highest attained in the entire history of the NSC examinations; but the second highest to that attained in 2019, when expressed as a percentage,” she said.

The diploma passes were 177 572, an improvement of 17.8% from 2020. This represents 25.2% of the total number of candidates while 103 859, 14.9%, got the Higher Certificate Pass.

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Motshekga said 77 250 more girls wrote the NSC exams compared to boys but both genders showed a 76.4% pass.

Learners with special needs also did well, with 80% of the 2 489 who wrote passing having 879 bachelor passes and 636 diploma passes.

In addition 61 780 progressed learners enrolled for the NSC exams and 21 499 passed.

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About 3 440 got a bachelor pass, 8 894 a diploma pass and 9 640 Higher Certificate. She said 1 484 got distinctions.

The achievements by province, are as follows –

⦁ The Free State is the leading province at 85.7%, an improvement of 0.6% from 2020;

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⦁ Gauteng achieved at 82.8%, a 1.0% decline from 2020;

⦁ Western Cape achieved 81.2%, an improvement of 1.3% from 2020;

⦁ North West achieved at 78.2%, an improvement of 2.0% from 2020 – the third highest improvement;

⦁ KwaZulu-Natal achieved at 76.8%, a decline of 0.8% from 2020;

⦁ Mpumalanga achieved at 73.6%, a 0.1% decline from 2020;

⦁ Eastern Cape achieved at 73.0%, an improvement of 4.9% from 2020 – the second highest improvement;

⦁ Northern Cape achieved at 71.4%, a 5.4% improvement from 2020 – the highest improvement; and

⦁ Limpopo achieved at 66.7%, a 1.5% decline from 2020.

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