LISTEN: The matric pass rate should not be viewed in isolation

The Matric pass rate is up now to 80.1% with the highest number of bachelor passes ever. The minister of Basic Education says this shows that the basic education system has ressilience. Elizabeth Biney, Head of Research at Equal Education, Merle Mansfield, Programme Director for The Zero Dropout Campaign and Prof. Rouaan Maarman, Deputy Dean for Research and Postgraduate Studies at the University of the Western Cape’s (UWC) education faculty shares their thoughts on the matter.

“To the lay person, this appears to be an improvement in educational outcomes. However, this is not necessarily the case, and viewed in isolation these statistics are misleading. So, it becomes essential to consider the matric pass rate alongside other indicators, such as the dropout rate,” says Merle Mansfield. This is because the matric pass rate only tells us about the percentage of learners in Grade 12 that wrote and passed their exams, but it says nothing about how many learners dropped out along the way.