Matric pass rate inches up to 76.4%

Matric pass rate inches up to 76.4%

The class of 2021 achieved an increase of 0.2% in the matric pass rate, bringing it up to 76.4%. 

Angie Motshekga Matric results 2021

This cohort of pupils spent at least two years of their schooling career under adverse conditions brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.

This includes a disruption to academic activities and uncertainties for months on end. 

Despite the challenges, the sector went on to record some big wins. 

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga announced the matric results in Auckland Park on Thursday. 

A total of 897 163 candidates sat for the final examinations at the end of last year - more than 700 000 of which were full-time pupils. 

The 76.4% pass rate includes pupils with special education needs - 36.4% of these candidates qualified for Bachelor studies at universities.


“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,” Motshekga boasted. 

“We must state that KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng and contributed the most Bachelor passes in their combined Bachelor passes of 117 704, which is equivalent to 46.0% of the overall Bachelor passes nationally.”

KZN and Gauteng Education MECs Kwazi Mshengu and Panyaza Lesufi could be seen bumping fists at the SABC auditorium when the announcement was made. 

“It is important to note that a total of 433 603 candidates – equivalent to 61.6%, who achieved Bachelor and Diploma passes, are now eligible for studies at Higher Education Institutions.  

“The 103 859 candidates – equivalent to 14.7%, who obtained Higher Certificate passes, may register at TVET and other skills training institutions,” Motshekga added. 

Motshekga also detailed pass rates by province, with the Free State achieving the highest pass rate at 85.7%. 

Gauteng and the Western Cape followed close behind. 

“There is no doubt that the system has begun to reach the desired stability; which is healthy for a large system, as large and important as ours.  The unquestionable resilience our school community has shown against such a devastating pandemic; cannot go by unnoticed.  

“The fact that we managed to enrol the highest number of full-time candidates for the 2021 NSC exams, is a clear sign that our communities have faith in the Basic Education system, and the NSC exams we are coordinating.”

Quality assurer Umalusi gave the final results a thumbs up, certifying them as credible.

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