Why Public And Private School Matric Results Can’t Be Compared



The South African education system consists of both government schools and independent schools. For years many have questioned whether completing matric through the independent curriculum is "better" than completing matric through the public schooling system.



In January this year, the 2022 matric results for both Independent Examination Board (IEB) and National Senior Certificate (NSC) administered exams were released.

The public schooling system attained a 80.1% pass rate, while independent schools achieved a 98.42% matric class pass rate.

In a recent parliamentary Q&A, the Department of Basic Education (DBE) was asked whether they have looked into the factors which contribute to the difference between the matric results of independent schools and public schools. 

Responding to concerns, DBE Minster Angie Motshekga said that the NSC exams administered by the IEB could not be compared to the NSC exams administered by her department.

She explained that many factors prevent these schools from being compared to each other. 

In 2022, the IEB administered the NSC exams to not more than 13 000 candidates, while the DBE administered the NSC exams to 920 634 full-time and part-time candidates.

One of the main reasons why these results cannot be compared is because IEB examinations are manufactured independently and therefore differ from the exams administered by the DBE in the public schooling system. 

Motshekga also noted that because the IEB examination is taken by independent schools, they cater for a select group of parents and learners, who have the best resources relating to teaching and learning at their disposal.

While the government system accommodates learners from the different South African socio-economic environments, ranging from deep rural to the township, to the urban schools. 

She concluded, “Hence, the 80.1% pass rate attained by the public schooling system, needs to be applauded and celebrated; and not compared to the 98.42% attained the independent schools.”


Suggested Article:

Learner registering for matric exam rewrite

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