Matric pass rate improves to 73.9%


    3 January 2013

    A total of 73.9% of matriculants who sat for South Africa’s 2012 National Senior Certificate examinations passed – a 3.7 percentage point improvement over 2011’s pass rate of 70.2%.

    There was also a noteworthy improvement in key subjects, with the maths pass rate standing at 54%, up from 46.3% in 2011, and the physical science pass rate increasing to 61.3%, from 53.4% in 2011.

    The pass rate in accounting stood at 65.6%, while a 75.8% pass rate was recorded for geography. Economics stood at 72.8%, while the passes for history were at 86%.

    In addition, 26.6% of Grade 12 learners qualified for Bachelor’s studies – an increase from 24.3% the year before.

    Exams ‘fair, valid and credible’

    “It gives me great pleasure to announce that the matric pass rate for 2012 is 73.9% … a hearty congratulations to the matrics,” Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga announced in Johannesburg on Wednesday.

    Motshekga said significant measures had been taken to encourage the improvement in the results.

    “To the learners who have excelled, the world is your oyster… To those who did not, there is room for improvement,” she said, reminding learners of the various options that were available to them to help improve their results.

    Motshekga said it was by no means an easy feat to pass matric nowadays, as suggested in some media reports, saying the pass requirements would be posted on the department’s website.

    The Department of Basic Education earlier welcomed the Council for Quality Assurance in General and Further Education and Training’s declaration that the 2012 National Senior Certificate (NSC) exams were fair, valid and credible.

    The body, also known as Umalusi, is tasked with the development and management of a sub-framework of qualifications for general and further education and training and for the attendant quality assurance.

    ‘Plenty of room for improvement’

    Basic Education Deputy Minister Enver Surty said officials were clear about what needed to be done to help further improve the results.

    “There is a lot that needs to be done, and we have to buckle up [and get it done]. I’d like to congratulate the class of 2012 for their achievements… For those who didn’t make it, there surely is a second chance,” said Surty.

    In 2012, 623 897 candidates sat for the NSC exams compared to 496 090 in 2011. More than 7.8-million question papers were printed and sent to exam centres, while 7.4-million scripts were distributed to marking centres as part of the national exams.

    Motshekga thanked the department’s social partners for their continued support, saying they were ready to do even more in the coming year to ensure the continued upward trend for the national pass rate.

    “We are ready for 2013 … We will continue to focus on the 3 ‘Ts’ – textbooks, teachers and time,” she said.