Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga announced at the briefing on Monday 5 January 2015 that the matric pass rate for 2014 was 75.8% (Also see: SA’s ‘real’ matric pass rate: 42%).
A total of 550,127 full-time and 138,533 part-time pupils wrote the basic education department’s examinations.
The 2014 matric pass rate is lower than the 2013 pass rate of 78.2%. It should be noted that the 2013 results were the highest ever in post-1994 South Africa.
Gauteng was the top province with a pass rate of 84.7%, followed by the North West and Free State.
Matric pass rate warning
Many educational experts warned that the matric pass rate is a poor indicator of the health of the education system, and should be seen for what it is.
Kate Wilkinson, senior researcher at Africa Check, said that approximately 50% of pupils drop out of school before they sit their final exams. This high dropout rate skews the results.
Annette Lovemore, the DA’s Shadow Minister of Basic Education, said that it is essential to consider the quality of the matric pass, and not just the number of passes.
“When more than 50% of learners passing are passing their individual subjects at less than 50%, then there is a problem,” she said.
Matric pass rate: 1995 to 2014
The following graph shows the matric pass rate from 1995 to 2014.