Matric 2021: IEB schools score 98% pass rate after ‘mentally, emotionally tough’ year

IEB schools have scored a near-perfect pass rate.

  • The National Senior Certificate 2021 pass rate for IEB schools is 98.39%.
  • The pass rate for 2021 is slightly higher than the 2020 pass rate of 98.06%.
  • Almost 90% of the 2021 matric cohort achieved entry to degree study.

Despite completing their final year of high school amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the class of 2021’s National Senior Certificate (NSC) pass rate was 98.39%.

Nearly all of them (89.2%) achieved entry to degree study at a tertiary level.

According to the Independent Examinations Board (IEB), which released the NSC results on Wednesday, the pass rate for the class of 2021 was slightly better when compared with the previous year’s pass rate of 98.06%.

Of those who passed:

  • 7.82% qualified for admission to diploma study, compared to 8.14% in 2020.
  • 1.37% achieved admission for study at the higher certificate level, compared to 1.5% in 2020.

The IEB said the matric class of 2021 consisted of 12 857 full-time and 968 part-time candidates from 238 examination centres writing in 267 venues between October and November across southern Africa.

READ | The wait is over! Find your Matric results on News24

“As with an iceberg, the achievement we see in the class of 2021 hides the depth of the struggle and effort that underpins this success,” its CEO, Anne Oberholzer, added, saying:

These Grade 12 learners were the true victims of Covid-19. The Class of 2021 has had to dig deep mentally and emotionally to find the strength to face the tremendous challenges of a radically changed teaching and learning environment of the last two years. They truly deserve the accolades they receive.

Oberholzer added the 2021 matriculants had spent both grades 11 and 12 in the pandemic, which impacted them severely as Grade 11 was often “spent primarily on ensuring that learners have a firm grasp and full understanding of key concepts and content in their respective subjects of study”.

For the class of 2021, they experienced sporadic school closures throughout 2020, which brought about disruptive changes of an unprecedented nature within a relatively short space of time.

This was exacerbated by the fact that in 2020, the teaching focused primarily on ensuring that Grade 12 pupils were given as much attention as possible to ensure they could succeed in their final examinations.

READ | Umalusi gives 2021’s matric results the all-clear

“Most Grade 11 learners in 2020 spent much less time at school and were essentially the test cases of the greatest online tuition experiment of our time. Despite its varied rate of success, one thing is certain – the use of technology in education is here to stay, as it should be,” Oberholzer said.

“There’s no doubt that online learning cannot replace a good teacher in person, however, it is far better than no teacher and no guidance.”

She added the class of 2021 had to find new ways to deal with the challenges they were served and build the resilience, courage and persistence to overcome them.

“We cannot underestimate the impact of disappointments of missing out on key social events that are key in a matric learner’s life, the important social experiences that are fundamental as they grapple with young adulthood, and the frustration of uncertainty that Covid-19 brought to almost every facet of their lives.

“All of these struggles form part of the iceberg that lies out of view. Overcoming these difficulties has been the true achievement of the class of 2021, and this experience can only benefit them on their path of lifelong learning.”

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