Improved overall quality in matric exams
29 December 2004
Education interventions over the past decade have contributed towards a respectable matric pass rate at over 70%. This is a significant achievement to round off the first 10 years of freedom and democracy. 2004 results also achieved an increase in the number of matric exemptions, more Maths and Science HG passes and increased participation of girl learners.
The Minister of Education, Naledi Pandor, has expressed her warmest congratulations to all those who passed their senior certificate, (adult basic education and training) ABET or (further education and training) FET College exams for 2004.
Minister Pandor officially released the 2004 senior certificate exam results at a media conference held at the Good Hope Auditorium in Parliament, Cape Town today (Wednesday, 29 December 2004).
The Minister also announced that Umalusi, the statutory quality assurance body, was satisfied that the examination was well conducted and that the results were fair and credible with the exception of the withheld Mpumalanga results. In its report to the Minister, Umalusi also indicated that the standard of the national question papers, written by up to 90% of all candidates who wrote, had improved significantly over 2003.
Minister Pandor also indicated that whilst it was regrettable that 38 162 full-time candidates in Mpumalanga would not get their results today, she supported Umalusi's decision to withhold all Mpumalanga results until a full investigation had run its course. The Minister also said she would make sure that the toughest measures were brought to bear on the guilty parties if it were proved that officials had been involved in colluding in exam fraud.
PASS RATE CONTINUES TO EXCEED 70%
The pass rate for the eight provinces in the 2004 senior certificate examination is 71.4% (74.7% in 2003).
The provincial pass rates are as follows:
* Western Cape 85.0%
* Northern Cape 83.4%
* Free State 78.7%
* Gauteng 76.8%
* KwaZulu-Natal 74.0%
* Limpopo 70.6%
* North West 64.9%
* Eastern Cape 53.5%
PASS RATE IN SIX "GATEWAY SUBJECTS" SHOWS QUALITY IN HIGHER GRADE
Results in the six "gateway subjects" that are examined through national, as opposed to provincial, question papers - accounting, biology, mathematics, physical science, English second language higher grade, and history:
* Accounting 89.1%
* Biology 72.3%
* Mathematics 57.2%
* Physical Science 74.8%
* English Second Language Higher Grade 92.1%
* History 81.4%
There were more passes in maths (22 860) and science (25 539) at the higher grade in 2004 than in 2003 and is an indication that the department's national strategy to improve maths and science is beginning to bear fruit.
There was an increase in the participation of girls from 148 577 in 2001 to 233 206 in 2004 (the latter excluding Mpumalanga), representing 54.1 % of all students who wrote the 2004 Senior Certificate examination. This increased participation has been matched by an increase in the pass rate of girls over the years. In 2004, 70.4% of girls passed in the eight provinces.
INCREASE IN NUMBER OF CANDIDATES WITH UNIVERSITY EXEMPTION
Of the total number of candidates who sat for the 2004 senior certificate examinations, 18.7% obtained university exemptions (19.2 % in 2003) - excluding Mpumalanga in both years for comparative purposes. Even though the 2004 rate at 18.7% is slightly down on 2003, the absolute number of candidates eligible for admission to universities in the eight provinces has increased to 80 477, an increase from 59 537 students in 1999 that is equivalent to an annual increase of 4 000 young people annually since 1999.
FURTHER EDUCATION AND ABET RESULTS
Minister Pandor also today released the consolidated 2004 FET college results in the fields of natural sciences and general studies and the 2004 ABET results.
The number of FET college candidates passing the National N instructional offerings was 590 028 out of 1 043 694 who wrote the assessments.
The number of candidates who were assessed as competent in the ABET Level 4 examinations showed an increase from 21 008 in 2001 to 26 442 in 2004. 57% of ABET learners enrolled for examinations were women. However, the number of adult learners obtaining a full general education and training certificate was 1 038 in 2004, a decline from 1 260 in 2003.
- Trends including Mpumalanga show stability.
- Long term trends show improvements in passes and endorsements
- Short term, the absolute numbers of passes and endorsements have risen, though marginal declines have been observed in the pass rate
- Excluding Mpumalanga will not change the national picture much since it account for 6 to 7 % of national writing and passing candidates. If Mpumalanga changes by 7%, it will only change the national pass rate by 1%.
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Issued by: Department of Education
29 December 2004