Part of the agenda when the matric results are released is finding out the pass rates for South Africa’s nine provinces.
Limpopo recorded the lowest matric pass rate among the country's nine provinces. The province recorded a pass rate of 66.7%. This represented a decline of 1.5 percentage points that the pass rate recorded in 2020. It was also the only province that did not achieve a pass rate above 70%.
Limpopo MEC for Education Polly Boshielo says the statistics however do not paint a clear picture of what is happening in the province. This is because the number of learners who obtained their matric certificates increased.
This as 26 768 more full-time candidates participated in the 2021 National Senior Certificate (NSC) examination season than in 2020. The number of part time candidates who participated in the NSC examination also increased by 8 975.
Acting DA spokesperson Risham Maharaj does not share Boshielo’s sentiments. He argues that matric pass rates have also been measured by the percentage of learners who have passed. He says the decline is an embarrassment.
Maharaj has questioned why the results in the province are being celebrated.
He said, “The six worst performing districts in the country are from Limpopo and 137 schools had failed to achieve a pass rate of 40%. Now this is embarrassing considering that you want to say the best performing district in Limpopo which was Capricorn South was only ranked 51st nationally so i'm not quite sure how we can be celebrating this kind of result”.
Boshielo says Maharaj’s comments are unfair on the learners. She says the legislature knows those working in the education sector in the province are not sleeping. She adds that learners have worked well under the difficult circumstances.
Limpopo has also for the first time in five years not had a school that achieved a zero percent pass rate.
Boshielo says they have diagnosed the problem as teachers having to teach multiple subjects, some of which they were not trained in. she also believed that if not for the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the province could have achieved a pass rate of above 72%
“We also help with investment and extra classes. That's why we don't have zero [percent] schools and we'll continue to do that so that we don't have to go back” declared Boshielo.