Slight decline in IEB matric pass rate

 

 

Private schools writing IEB exams obtained a 98.82% pass rate, a fractional decrease from last year


The Independent Examinations Board (IEB) has had a slight drop in its matric pass rate compared to 2018. This has also meant a small decline in the number of learners eligible to study for a degree.

The IEB released its results on Wednesday.

The matric class of 2019 has achieved a 98.82% pass rate, compared to last year’s 98.92%.

A total of 11 818 full-time learners sat for the exam, as well as 779 part-time learners. Of those who passed, 89.51% are eligible to study towards a degree. This is also a slight drop, from the 90.65% who were eligible last year.

There has, however, been an increase in those who qualified for entry to diploma study, at 7.91% this year, compared to 7.33% in 2018. There has also been a noticeable increase in the learners who achieved entry for study at the higher certificate level, shooting up from 0.95% in 2018 to 1.4%.

The IEB administered the matric exams at more than 12 000 schools across the country and in Mozambique, Eswatini and Namibia. The province with the highest number of schools was Gauteng (6 839), followed by KwaZulu-Natal (2 144) and the Western Cape (1 207).

On Friday, Umalusi — the council for quality assurance in general and further education — approved the release of the IEB matric results.

A number of schools attained a 100% pass rate. St John’s College, for example, recorded a 100% pass rate, with more than 99% of its learners passing with bachelor degree passes.

The school achieved 483 distinctions, with 142 of these being an A+ (where a learner gets over 90% in a subject). Of these A+ distinctions, 65 were in mathematics, 43 in physical science and 56 in English.

Two of the learners who excelled at the school were Warren Masombuka and Tshegofatso Mphake. Both were recipients of the St John’s College Centenary Scholarship, which is awarded to “talented young black South Africans who could otherwise not afford a St John’s education”. The pair achieved six distinctions each.

At Holy Rosary School, 12 learners obtained six distinctions each, in subjects including maths, physical science and geography.

In 2017, the Mail & Guardian reported that the department of basic education was planning to implement a national independent examination council which would, in part, lead to a single matric examination that would do away with the national senior certificate (NSC) — written by learners in the public education system — and the IEB.

One of the people who was vocal about a single matric examination was Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi, who said the character of the two exams gave an impression that the IEB is a difficult exam for the rich and the NSC is the weaker one for the poor.

“Our argument is that it is not possible to have one examination that is independently monitored, so that those that are fearing that if we combine them the standard will go down, they must be assured that it’s not government that is running it but it is an independent body,” Lesufi said at the time.

However, IEB chief executive Anne Oberholzer said at the time that the IEB had a role to play, and that it offered an alternative to the NSC.

National government results will be released today.

Educationmatters

Bongekile Macupe
Bongekile Macupe is an education reporter at the Mail & Guardian.
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