By Umamah Bakharia
Educational experts warn that we should not be expecting better results for the class of 2021 as compared to 2020. There is also concern that the Matric Class of 2021 have performed worse than the matric’s of 2020. In 2020, the overall matric pass rate was 76.2%, substantially lower than the previous year’s 81.3%. The education sector largely anticipated that drop, given the severe disruption of classrooms brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Radio Islam spoke to school governing body, FEDSAS, Riaan van der Bergh, on the class of 2021 matric results which are expected to be published on 21 January.
“Keep in mind that the 2020 matric’s were disrupted for one year and all effort was made for them to pull through in that year but the 2021 matric’s, they had their grade 11 year disrupted as well as their grade 12 year,” says van der Bergh.
He predicts that the societal pressures filtered into the education sector which caused a disturbance for the matric pupils this year.
Executive director for the National Professional Teaching Organization of South Africa (NAPTOSA), Basil Manuel said despite the pandemic gripping the country, credit needs to be given to all the learners who pushed through the obstacles.
“To expect a massive increase in the pass percentage is unrealistic. I think we must prepare ourselves for an average to good pass rate because if you look at what we had last year, I think if we do as well as last year it would be a special bonus, but even a dip will not be unexpected given the circumstances that prevailed,” says Manuel.
However, some schools transitioned to online learning to continue the academic year as uncertainty rose on when students will be able to attend school daily.
“[The use of] technology was a big divide, on the other side technology also created a digital bridge because it was easier to connect with learners who were not at school,” says van der Bergh.
The Department of Education has still not confirmed whether schools will be open for learners at a normal rate of daily learning.
Provincial education spokesperson Millicent Merton said that the overall 2021 NSC exams proceeded without major disruptions and as per the National NSC Exam Management Plan and currently the WCED is on track to release results to the NSC November 2021 with ministerial announcements taking place on the 20 January and release of the candidate’s results on 21 January 2022 as per the National Management Plan.
The Department of Basic Education has announced that matric exam results will no longer be published on media platforms, in line with the recently introduced Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA).