Matric class of 2023 celebrates results: “most Bachelor passes ever”

  • The Matric class of 2023 managed a 82.9 percent general pass rate.
  • Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga says this result is the “highest ever in history” despite the DBE dropping the pass requirements in 2014.
  • The minister also claims that 2023 saw the highest number of Bachelor degree passes ever at 40.9 percent of all who wrote.

At an event on Thursday in Fairlands, Johannesburg, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga revealed the class of 2023 matric results and the general pass rate for the year’s National Senior Certificate (NSC) learners.

According to the minister, of the 890 000 full-time and part-time candidates who sat for the NSC exams administered by the Department of Basic Education (DBE) last year in October and November, 572 983 were able to pass the exams – this makes the overall pass rate 82.9 percent or just over 2.8 percent higher than the pass rate of 2022. In 2021, following months of hard lockdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the pass rate was 76.4 percent.

The minister said on Thursday that the pass rate represents the second-highest ever number of matrics who passed their final NSC exams.

“It should be noted that while the pass rate of the 2023 NSC exams in number is the second highest in the history of the NSC exams, when expressed as a percentage, the pass rate of the 2023 NSC exams is the highest in the history of the NSC so far,” explained Motshekga, as per SA News.

It should be remembered that the passing grade for the NSC examinations is at least 30 percent per subject. However, learners will only pass matric if they achieve 40 percent in at least three subjects as well.

In comparison, the Independent Examinations Board (IEB) class of 2023 managed a 98.46 percent pass rate with a passing mark of 50 percent per subject. The IEB mostly handles the examinations of private school learners.

This controversial 30 percent passing mark should be taken into consideration, especially when the minister is lauding the actions of the DBE and proclaiming “the highest pass rate in history.” The 30 and 40 percent passing marks were implemented in 2014, prior to this 50 percent was the passing mark for the NSC examinations.

Instead, now the NSC passing mark is separated into bachelor’s pass, marking the highest potential passing mark, down to certificate pass, which is enough to earn you an NSC certificate.

The Free State is once again the leading province in terms of NSC passes, with 89 percent – a 0.5 percent improvement over the year prior. Meanwhile KwaZulu-Natal managed 86.4 percent while Gauteng, South Africa’s most populous province, achieved a 85.4 percent pass rate.

The lowest pass rate belongs to the Northern Cape, the country’s least populous province, with 75.8 percent of matrics earning their NSC. The province with the most improved matric results was Limpopo, with a 7.4 percent pass rate improvement, achieving 79.5 percent in 2023.

Additionally, the Class of 2023 also achieved the highest bachelor degree passes in the history of the NSC, the DBE claims, with 40.9 percent of matrics across the country now able to apply for university Bachelor degree studies. This is a great result, especially as 2023 was wracked by the worst loadshedding in the country’s history.

“The unquestionable resilience our school community has shown against such a devastating pandemic and other challenges, such as sporadic service delivery protests, the floods in some provinces, violence, and the general moral decadence, such as alcohol and substance abuse, cannot go by unnoticed,” said Motshekga.

“The Class of 2023 has clearly demonstrated that with all requisite support and intervention programmes, we can make it.  We must prioritise our interventions on teaching and learning losses.  Support and intervention programmes must be implemented across the system.”

If you’re looking for your matric results for 2023 online, head here.

[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]


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