• Eastern Cape Rising Sun

Eastern Cape records highest matric pass rate since 1994


Selborne’s top achiever Gareth Griffins with his accolades proudly stands alongside Selborne headmaster, Andrew Dewar.

By Mihle Tolobisa

Selborne College Gareth Griffiths came second in the province with seven distinctions and an aggregate of 94% from the 2019 matric class.


The East London teenager was topped by Sibi Aleta of King Edward High School in Matatiele, followed by Lomso Dumezweni from Nyanga Senior Secondary School in Ngcobo.


The Buffalo City also placed second in the top-performing districts at 77.9%. The Nelson Mandela Metro District came first at 81.4%, breaking the record by being the first district to break the 80% pass in the province. In third place is Alfred Ndzo East and OR Tambo Coastal tied at 77.7%.


The three top achieving learners were awarded in a prestigious National Senior Certificate release of results ceremony hosted by the Department of Education on Wednesday in Quigney. On the night, Griffiths was given the Premier’s Award.


Selborne College registered a 99.4% pass rate with 82% of the class achieving a Bachelors Pass with 19 learners achieving the Selborne College Honours Award Standard of four Distinctions.


The province recorded its highest matric pass rate of 76.5 % since the birth of democracy and the highest improvement in the country at 5.9% from 70.6% in 2018. A total of 63 198 candidates sat for the National Senior Certificate under the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement, this was the class that sat for grade 1 in 2008.


There has been significant improvement in the number of learners obtaining above 60% in 2019. Learners below the 20% pass dropped from 977 to 71 and learners from 80% to 90% improved from 10 033 to 16 540.


Ngcobo, a rural EC village produced third-placed Dumezweni, who intends to study Medicine in order to break the curse of chronic illnesses that have led to a number of deaths in his family. He believes the best way to pass is dedication. “You have to take everything seriously from the beginning of the year, all the class works, tests and assessments contribute towards to your overall progress and that’s why you have to work hard from the beginning,” he said.


This year, the first group of 368 Grade 12 learners will be writing mathematics and science in Sesotho and isiXhosa. Fundile Gade, MEC for Education believes that they will be able to maintain the pass rate with the systems in place to respond to the development of the curriculum and schooling system in the province.


The highest improved district at 9.1% is Amathole West, from 55.6% in 2018 to 64.7% in 2019. Joe Gqabi improved by 9%, from 67.4% to 76.4%, Amathole East at 8.5% and OR Tambo Coastal at 8.1%.


Out of the 10 high enrolment subjects, only Mathematics had a decline of 3.7% from 45.5% to 41.8%. The percentage of candidates who obtained distinctions improved from 3.05% in 2018 to 3.10% in 2019, Nelson Mandela Bay had the highest percentage at 4.5% of distinctions.


Gade believes that the results come from the special interventions designed to enrich teaching and learning at school level which included the provision of supplementary materials, study guides, contact sessions in the form of Saturday and afternoon classes and classes during winter and spring holidays.


“The department is ready for this academic year, the necessary furniture is in stock to address shortages and 95% of workbooks, stationery and textbooks have been delivered to schools. The remaining 5% will be delivered in January 2020,” said Gade.

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