Mpumalanga Matric Results: Provincial DoE must focus on improving learner retention

Issued by Jane Sithole, MPL – Spokesperson on Education
20 Jan 2023 in Press Releases

The Democratic Alliance (DA) congratulates all Mpumalanga’s successful matriculants for their remarkable performance in the 2022 academic year. Despite challenges of the on-going electricity loadshedding, the province’s matric class of 2022 got an official overall pass rate of 76.8%, increasing by almost 3% from 73.6% in the previous year. 

We also wish to thank all the teachers that went the extra mile to ensure that learners had the best possible preparation for their examinations and the parents for their support and encouragement. 

While the DA is happy about the 3.2% pass rate increase, we are concerned about the number of learners who are dropping out of school and ending up not writing the matric final exams. In 2020, 94 077 learners registered for Grade 10 in Mpumalanga schools, but only 67 367 of those wrote the 2022 Matric final exams. What happened to the other 26 710?? It is obvious that these learners dropped out of school for whatever reasons. This is a 28.4% dropout rate. This is concerning, and it must be addressed as a matter of urgency. 

For the 2022 school year, 71 369 learners registered for matric but only 67 367 wrote the final matric exam. Where are the other 4002 learners?? 

If you take into consideration the dropout rate we mentioned above, the real pass rate in Mpumalanga for the class of 2022 is 55%, not 76.8%. 

Every year, the DA calculates the real matric pass rate by bringing into account the number of learners that dropped out and never made it to matric. Some learners opt out of schooling at the end of grade 9 to pursue their education through technical and vocational education and training (TVET), but a large number simply stop their education entirely. To bring the TVET learners into account the DA calculates the real matric pass rate from the grade 10 cohort that ought to complete matric. 

With that being said, the DA urges the Mpumalanga Department of Education to focus on improving learner retention, and ensure that learners are supported from the time they start school to when they complete Grade 12. Together with the abolishment of rotational timetables, the department should find a way of always tracking the learners who drop out of school. 

The DA would like to congratulate the 33.5% of Mpumalanga matriculants who qualified for entry into tertiary education, and we would also like to urge the matriculants who did not obtain the required results not to despair but instead put more effort into trying again. 

We would also like to congratulate the 27 schools that achieved a 100% pass rate out of the 566 schools that registered to write the 2022 matric exams. The DA would also like to congratulate the 22,576 learners who have qualified to enrol for bachelor’s degrees.