“These dedicated teachers faced the same challenges as the learners. The physical and emotional challenges of the pandemic were also their reality. Yet they went out of their way to put in extra work, time and effort to ensure that the learners were able to complete their school careers.”
Earlier, during a technical briefing ahead of the results, director-general of basic education Mathanzima Mweli said for the first time in SA's history, 61.8% of bachelor passes in last year’s matric exams came from SA’s poorest schools — the quintile 1-3 schools.
“It means that children of people in rural areas, townships and informal settlements have now increased the output to 61.8%. It’s never happened in the system in history. I am actually shaking,” he said.
In contrast, in 2005 at least 20% of quintile 4 and 5 schools — the so-called wealthy schools — accounted for 80% of the bachelor passes.
The percentage of bachelor passes produced by quintile 4 and 5 schools went down from 42% in 2020 to 38.2% in 2021.
Western Cape pupils produced the most bachelor passes, followed by Gauteng and then the Free State.
The number of distinctions produced nationally dropped slightly from 4.3% to 4.2% with a decline in the Free State, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, the North West and the Northern Cape.
Mweli said the number of pupils passing accounting, economics, geography, history and maths literacy, at 30%, had dropped.