Class of 2022 defies odds to score 80.1% pass rate

Thursday, January 19, 2023

The Matric Class of 2022 has scored a remarkable 80.1% pass rate, despite being the group that was mostly hit by the “devastating” effects of COVID-19 and load shedding.

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga’s announcement of an overall improved pass rate at the Mosaïek Church in Fairlands, Gauteng, on Thursday, was met with applause.

The National Senior Certificate (NSC) pass rate is slightly higher than the 76.4% recorded in 2021, an increase of 3.7% compared to the previous year.

Motshekga noted that this cohort was exposed to the pandemic for two consecutive years when they were in Grade 10 in 2020 and Grade 11 in 2021. 

“The Class of 2022 is the first cohort to write the NSC exams, post the pandemic. Exacerbating the devastation caused by the pandemic, this class was subjected to the challenges of enervating load shedding and sporadic service delivery protests.”

However, she noted that despite the challenges, the learners managed to bag high-quality passes and distinctions.

Motshekga said of the 922 034 candidates who registered for the 2022 Matric exams (with 725 146 full-time candidates) across the country, 278 814 achieved Bachelor passes, an improvement of 8.9% from 2021.

In addition, 193 357 learners qualified to study towards a Diploma, 108 159 achieved higher certificate passes and 117 achieved plain NSC passes.

“By the way, the 2022 Bachelor passes in number are the highest attained in the entire history of the NSC examinations; but the second highest to that attained in 2021 when expressed as a percentage,” the Minister said.

Provincial results 

The Minister singled out KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, the two provinces that contributed the most Bachelor passes, with 69 849 (an increase of 12.9% from 2021) and 58 119 (an increase of 4.1% from 2021), respectively. 

In addition, Free State was once again named the best-performing province, with an 88.5% pass rate, when the Minister announced the much-awaited Matric results.

“We should state that none of the provinces performed below the 70% pass rate; and none had a decline when their 2022 results are compared with those of the previous year,” Motshekga said.

In addition, she said five provinces performed above the 70% pass rate, while four achieved over 80%.

The provinces with the highest improvements in their performances are KwaZulu-Natal with a 6.2% improvement, Limpopo with 5.3%, and the Eastern Cape with 4.2%. 

More female candidates

According to the Minister, there were 89 334 girls – an improvement of 20.3% from 2021, who wrote the 2022 NSC examinations.

Of these, 161 235 female candidates obtained Bachelor passes – an increase of 10.3% from 2021; while 117 579 male candidates obtained Bachelor passes, up by 7% from 2021.

No fee schools

In addition, Motshekga said quintiles 1 to 3 schools, also known as “no fee” schools combined, stand at 387 401 – an upturn of 9.2% from 2021. 

Bachelor passes achieved by learners in “no fee” schools were 169 903 – an increase of 13.4% from 2021.

“The significance of this enormous and unequalled achievement is that the gap between the Bachelor passes produced by ‘no fee’ schools, versus those produced by fee-paying schools, has significantly and progressively increased from 2% in 2015 to 16% in 2020, to 24% in 2021 and 25% in 2022,” the Minister said.

She acknowledged that the dropout rate was a concern, and vowed to address the matter and the repetition rates.

However, according to Motshekga, the number of learners reaching Grade 12 has been increasing progressively in recent years. 

“It is therefore, not coincidental that 775 000 of the cohort of learners from the Class of 2022 reached Grade 12, from about 1.18 million learners who entered formal schooling in 2011,” she said, adding that 96% of these learners wrote last year’s NSC examinations.

The Minister has paid tribute to a “happy, young” cohort of teachers, principals, support staff and parents.

“What you do at the school level is what matters the most. The future of our learners and the prosperity of our nation, is in your hands.” –