2022 matric pass rate climbs to 80.1% in South Africa

The Department of Basic Education has released the final National Senior Certificate results for the 2022 matric year showing a 3.7 percentage point increase in the pass rate to 80.1%.

Speaking during an address to the nation on 19 January 2022, the basic education minister Angie Motshekga, said that the 2022 cohort was the most resilient yet, facing pandemic challenges and load shedding.

She said the increase to 80.1% marks the second highest since 2019.

For the past ten years, the NSC pass rate has been going up from 60% in 2009, and the matric class of 2022 maintained this trend despite the astronomical challenges, said Motshekga.

According to the department, 922,034 matrics registered to take the exams last year, of these 87% (725,146) were full-time candidates.

The number of bachelor passes increased by 8.9%, and the number of diploma passes also improved. She added that Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal contributed the most bachelor passes.

Out of the 2022 matric class, 278,815 students achieved a bachelor’s pass, 197,357 (26.7%) achieved a diploma pass, and 14.9% (108,159) achieved a higher certificate pass. This class faced significant challenges due to the Covid-19 pandemic, starting in their grade 10 year in 2020.

The minister said that this signals that the education system is incrementally dealing with concerns.

She added that the 2022 cohort was offered 12 new subject offerings, including South African Sign Language, and mechanical technologies, among others.

The minister of fourteen years detailed the size and scope of the matric examinations, listing the following figures:

  • 920,000 candidates wrote the exams
  • 162 question papers were set
  • 10.4 million question papers were printed
  • 9.8 million scripts were produced
  • 73,000 invigilators were placed across the country
  • 52,000 markers

More students (725,146) wrote in 2022 than in 2021 (703,599), Motshekga said.

Motshekga said that all provinces improved with the following results (including progressed learners):

  1. Free State: 88.5%
  2. Gauteng: 84.4%
  3. KZN: 83%
  4. Western Cape: 81.4%
  5. North West: 79.8%
  6. Eastern Cape: 77.3%
  7. Mpumalanga: 76.8%
  8. Northern Cape: 74.2%
  9. Limpopo: 72.1%

Regarding why the results were delayed, a department spokesperson said it was a domino effect stemming from the pandemic-induced delays in the industry.

Lockdowns had significantly impacted the 2022 matric year, and school closures limited the amount of time students were able to spend in classrooms and potentially affected their ability to prepare for exams.

The department announced that matric students have until February 3, 2023, to request a remark or recheck of their exam papers. If they want to retake the exams or improve their results, the next opportunity will be in May/June 2023.

Additionally, students have until February 8, 2023 to register for the May/June 2023 exams and until March 15, 2023 to register for the October/November 2023 exams.

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