Matric class of 2023 bags 82.9% pass rate

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Umamah Bakharia

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Angie Motshekga


Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said on Thursday night that the pass rate for the National Senior Certificate (NSC) is the second highest in the history of the NSC, after she announced that the class of 2023 obtained an 82.9% pass rate.

The achievement is an improvement on the 2022 pass rate of 80.1%, and the 76.4% obtained in 2021.

“The Class of 2023 showed the greatest determination, fortitude and resolve to overcome all odds, similar to the Class of 2022 – a good sign of a maturing and resilience,” said Motshekga during the release of the results in Johannesburg.

According to the department, 572 983 pupils passed matric out of the 897 775 full-time and part-time candidates that were enrolled for the NSC in 2023.

3 147 learners obtained admission to Bachelor studies; 8 828 obtained admissions to Diploma studies and 10 680 obtained admissions to Higher Certificate studies.

A total of 2 517 distinctions were attained from subjects including distinctions in critical subjects, such as accounting, business studies, economics, mathematics, physical science, computer applications technology, and agricultural studies, amongst others.

The Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, and Limpopo – the three most rural provinces in the country – produced 50.9% of the total bachelor passes.

The improvements in the provinces are as follows:

• The Free State leads with 89.0%, an increase of 0.5% from 2022.

• KwaZulu-Natal, the third improved province, achieved 86.4%, an increase of 3.4% from 2022.

• Gauteng achieved 85.4%, an increase of 1.0% from 2022.

• North West achieved 81.6%, an increase of 1.8% from 2022.

• Western Cape achieved 81.5%, an increase of 0.1% from 2022.

• The second improved province is the Eastern Cape, with an achievement of 81.4%, an improvement of 4.1% from 2022.

• The most improved province is Limpopo, with an achievement of 79.5%, a 7.4% improvement from 2022.

• Mpumalanga achieved 77.0%, a 0.2% increase from 2022.

• Northern Cape achieved 75.8%, a 1.6% increase from 2022.

The department has advised those who wish to improve their results to enrol for the Second Chance Matric Programme. Registration into the programme is already open and will close on 20 February 2024.

On Wednesday, the Independent Examinations Board (IEB) revealed that its class of 2023 obtained an overall pass rate of 98.46%.

The board said 88.59% attained a degree pass, 8.31% secured a diploma pass, and 1.57% received a higher certificate pass.

The IEB has seen a notable increase in the number of candidates with 15,186 learners participating in the IEB exams in 2023, surpassing the 2022 figure of 13,525.

This increase is attributed to 17 new schools, consisting of 960 candidates, participating in the IEB for the first time in 2023.

The IEB’s Confidence Dikgole has praised the class of 2023 for overcoming various challenges and encouraged them to pursue further studies.

“There are many educational routes – not all of them necessarily need to lead to a university degree – that release their talents and their enthusiasm to be the very best they can be in a field that has captivated their interest,” said Dikgole.

Meanwhile, the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has said it received 1,406,189 applications for funding for the 2024 academic year as of Monday.

The scheme anticipates that it will receive close to 1 000 000 additional applications before the close of the 2024 application cycle on 31 January 2024.

This comes as NSFAS plans to implement the first phase of its Comprehensive Student Funding Model to accommodate the “missing middle” which will allow students to access financial support in the form of a loan to pursue their studies.

“NSFAS is grateful that the government made available R3.8 billion as the initial capitalisation fund to support the loan scheme for 2024,” read a statement by the scheme.

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