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Minister Motshekga 6 January 20166 January 2016 - In a live broadcast from Vodaworld the Minister of Basic Education last night announced the matric results for the Class of 2015. The overall pass rate has declined to 70,7%, partly impacted by the higher number of learners writing matric, tougher exams and the strategy of progressing learners. To ensure that as many people as possible leave the education system with a certificate the DBE has launched the Second Chance Matric Support System.

In her speech Minister Angie Motshekga invoked Aristotle who said that “excellence is an art won by training and habituation. She stated that the basic education sector is about excellence and perpetual acts of performing good habits: “Basic education is not a sprint but a marathon.” The Minister indicated that the overall performance of the education system was judged using the constitutional principles of Access, Redress, Equity, as well as systematic imperatives such as Efficiency and Quality.

For the full speech of the Minister please click here, we highlight a number of topics below.


More learners

The Class of 2015 has recorded the highest enrolment of Grade 12 learners in the history of the basic education system in South Africa. The total number of candidates who registered for the November 2015 NSC examinations was 799 306; written by 667 925 full time candidates and 131 381 part time candidates. This is 110 thousand candidates more than those enrolled for the 2014 NSC examinations, an increase of 16%.

NSC Enrolments per province for 2014 and 2015 NSC Enrolments per province for 2014 and 2015. Source: DBE NSC 2015 Examination Report 


Repetition and drop out rates remain a challenge and one of the objectives for the DBE is to decrease the number of learners that leave the education system without any formal qualification. In 2015 provinces were encouraged to progress or condone learners who have repeated Grade 11 more than once and who are over-aged and give them extra support to sit for Grade 12 NSC examinations, or allow them to modularise their examinations, which means that they write part of the examinations in November 2015 and the rest in June 2016.

Overall the pass rate of these progressed learners was 37,6%. Of the 58 656 learners 12% have not (yet) completed the examinations.

 Numbers wrote and achieved NSC as progressed candidates per province 2015Numbers wrote and achieved NSC as progressed candidates per province 2015. Source: DBE NSC 2015 Examination Report


Tougher exams

The Class of 2015 is the second cohort to write the National Senior Certificate (NSC) examination that is aligned with the internationally benchmarked National Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS) curriculum. CAPS is a high knowledge curriculum that places a premium on cognitive demands from learners.

The education sector is geared to continue to produce learners with knowledge and skills to deal with current and future challenges as well as interact with their environment effectively. The DBE has taken a conscious decision to raise the standard and to improve the quality of education. To this end from 2014 examiners progressively increased the level of cognitive demands in setting the NSC examination question papers. The difference in this year’s question paper from those of the previous years was noted by learners, teachers, markers, subject analysts, and curriculum specialists.

From a number of question examples including El Nino, La Nina and the 2014 establishment of the BRICS Development Bank, it became evident that teachers and learners‎ should follow current developments and use contemporary information in the classroom to prepare for the end of the year exams.


Provincial results

Before the overall matric result of 70.7% was announced the Minister listed the provincial results. As in 2014 Eastern Cape was the worst performing province with a 56.8% pass rate and Western Cape swopped places with Gauteng as best performing province with a 84.7% pass rate. Western Cape was also the only province that has increased its pass rate compared to last year.

 Overall performance of candidates in the 2015 NSC examinationOverall performance of candidates in the 2015 NSC examination Source: DBE NSC 2015 Examination Report


Second Chance Matric Support Programme

Second Chance Matric Support ProgrammeTo assist learners who have failed matric the DBE has set up the Second Chance Matric Support Programme. The programme will be piloted in 2016 and registration for participation will only be open to learners that attempted the NSC examinations in 2015. This includes learners who wrote the 2015 matric examinations and qualified to write one or two subjects in the supplementary examinations in February and March 2016 as well as progressed learners writing the June 2016 examinations.

The pilot of the 2016 supplementary examinations will offer support for the following subjects: Mathematics, Mathematical Literacy, Life Sciences, Physical Sciences, Geography, Business Studies and Economics.

The support provided will include face-to-face tuition during the 2016 pilot in all nine provinces at two districts per province. Each district will have two venues. Broadcasting solutions will be available for all learners at various schools and venues. Resources like the Mind the Gap study guides and pas examination papers will be available to the pilot venues in printed form and via Internet, which the learners can access at teacher centres, Vodacom Centres, libraries and via free Wi-Fi.

For more information about this Programme and how to register please click here.


More information

Please click on below links to download the full technical and diagnostic documents that have been made available by the DBE. Please note that for Vodacom subscribers these downloads are zero-rated