More Than 200 000 Distinctions Earned By 2021 Matric Learners

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Despite having to overcome huge adversity, the class of 2021 worked hard and earned more than 200 000 distinctions.


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Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga has praised the class of 2021 for the results they achieved during the National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations. This as they had to navigate education and examination in the midst of a global pandemic.

The class of 2021 had 733 198 full-time candidates. This was about 120 000 more than the 607 226 full time candidates that participated in the 2020 NSC examinations.

Elizabeth Henning from the University of Johannesburg says she was impressed with the perseverance of the learners despite the extreme circumstances they faced.

She believes that a higher pass mark (requirement to pass a subject) will motivate learners to work harder. She adds that if the pass mark requirement was higher, it may push students who are not forced to work harder, to put more effort into their studies.

Henning said, “That for me would be the only real rational reason because to say that it's 30 to 40% or 50% (pass mark) means that the state decides where people can get this matric certificate and I don't think a 30% pass mark for the certain subjects takes these young people anyway”

Much of the criticism of the 30% pass mark requirement for some subjects has been that it does not prepare the student for university. Henning however says the jump from school to university is big. This as many students, even top achievers, simply make the wrong choices.

Henning adds that the current cohort of learners leaving secondary school may be better prepared for university. This as they are more accustomed to self-study and a more independent learning style.

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