Matric Class of 2022 should be celebrated, but results not accurate ‘barometer’ for education system — experts

The 80.1% pass rate achieved by the matric class of 2022 is a testament to their resilience and determination in the face of challenges. However, it is far from a holistic representation of the state of South Africa’s education system.

“We definitely want to celebrate the matric class of 2022 – the learners who have dedicated themselves to completing the year so strongly. I think it’s really a testament to the kind of commitment that young people in this country have to their education.”

These were the words of Merle Mansfield, Programme Director of the Zero Dropout Campaign, in the wake of the announcement of the NSC results on Thursday, 19 January. The much-anticipated results showed an 80.1% pass rate for last year’s matric pupils.

“However, the matric pass rate only tells us about the learners who sat the exam and passed. It say nothing about those who got stuck in the system, or dropped out along the way,” explains Mansfield.

There is a need to capture better data around learner throughput, she continued, as it is not clear where learners are getting stuck — whether they are sitting in cycles of repetition at particular grades, or have dropped out of the school system completely.

“There are lots of nuances to the data that we wish our education system would be able to articulate more intentionally so that we can put some interventions in place,” she said.

“We still have a large proportion of… marginalised black children who are not getting to the matric exam… It’s still incredibly difficult to get there and it shouldn’t be.”

Read the full stoy on The Daily Maverick.