Last week, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga announced that the matric class of 2022 achieved a national pass rate of 80.1% in the National Senior Certificate (NSC) exams, a 3.7 percentage point improvement from 76.4% the previous year. Photo: Madelene Cronje
Mthokosizi Nkomo, who attended Impiyamandla High School in Etshenilenduna, and Sinakhokonke Siyaya, from Phendukani High School in Newcastle, both in KwaZulu-Natal, are among the top achievers in the matric class of 2022.
Mthokosizi, 18, obtained distinctions in all of the seven subjects he wrote, claiming first place in the physical science category nationally.
Mthokosizi, who plans to study medicine at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, said he was still in disbelief about his results, which he achieved despite having to contend with frequent, crippling power black outs by power utility Eskom during his final year in school.
“The only real challenge I encountered during the matric year was load-shedding. It was hard juggling my school work and doing chores at home because of power cuts,” he said.
Seventeen-year-old Sinakhokonke, who got eight distinctions in the high school-ending examinations, will also pursue a degree in medicine, but at the University of Cape Town.
“When I saw my results, I could not believe that I could get 100% in accounting because I had been struggling with it during the year. Matric was very hectic for me because of the limited time and having to be at school for seven days,” she said.
Last week, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga announced that the matric class of 2022 achieved a national pass rate of 80.1% in the National Senior Certificate (NSC) exams, a 3.7 percentage point improvement from 76.4% the previous year.
The chairperson of parliament’s portfolio committee on basic education, Bongiwe Mbinqo-Gigaba, welcomed the marked improvement, saying it was encouraging “especially in the context of the impact of Covid-19 on the 2022 cohort’s experience of teaching and learning”.
“These results point to the system’s resilience and the commitment of key stakeholders to ensure success, despite various challenges,” Mbinqo-Gigaba added.
She said the committee welcomed quality assurance body Umalusi’s assurance that irregularities reported during the exams were not systemic and did not affect the results. The committee has called for strategies to prevent cheating in future exams.
“The committee has also called for the law to take its course against those who committed indiscretions during the examination process,” she said.
Motshekga noted that she saw improvement in South Africa’s three most rural provinces of KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo and the Eastern Cape.
“This kind of consistent and improved performance by our three most rural provinces dispels the myth that quality education is a characteristic of urban provinces,” she said.