While the Democratic Alliance congratulates learners who got their matric results today, the party says that they are deeply concerned by the truly shocking dropout figures that put the real matric pass rate at 37.3 percent, when the pass rate is calculated from the Grade 10 class of 2015 who then passed their final school exams in 2017.

Only 49.7 percent of Grade 10s actually wrote the final NSC exams and a startling 37.3 percent of 2015’s Grade 10 learners actually passed. This means that over 62.7 percent of Grade 10s did not pass, dropped out or became stuck in the system – sometimes as a result of purposeful action by school leaders.

“The situation has worsened from last year’s real pass rate of 40.2 percent – suggesting that our schooling system is not a ‘system on the rise’ as claimed. The ‘real’ pass rates for each province highlights a dire situation which means that learners will not be able to enter post-school education or the job market this year,” said the DA in a statement.

“The DA-run Western Cape again tops the “real” results table, with the lowest dropout rate in the country. The Free State, which topped this year’s matric exams results, has the highest dropout rate of all the provinces. When you take this into account, the real pass rate for the Free State is only 36.3% – raising serious concerns about allegations that learners are being ‘culled’ from the system in order to preserve good matric pass rates.

“The DA has repeatedly called for an investigation into the high dropout rate and specifically ‘culling’. Yet, Basic Education Minister, Angie Motshekga, has refused to even consider the issue of culling, contradicting her Deputy Director-General who confirmed last year that these practices were taking place.
“The Minister cannot stick her head in the sand on this issue when the future of thousands of learners are at stake. Motshekga must explain why she consistently refuses to institute an investigation into culling when this means that more than half of Grade 10s do not pass their final Matric exams, making it less likely that they will be able to further their education or find a job,” said the DA.