South Africa


North West: Class of 2021 gets 78.2% pass rate despite numerous curve balls 

North West: Class of 2021 gets 78.2% pass rate despite numerous curve balls 
Illustrative image: (Photo: Gallo Images / The Times / Shelley Christians)

The province achieved a pass rate of 78.2% in the 2021 NSC exams, a slight increase of 2% from the previous year. 

On Friday morning, North West Education MEC, Mmaphefo Matsemela congratulated the province’s 2021 matriculants, after the announcement of its matric pass rate of 78.2%. 

The 2021 National Senior Certificate results were released on Thursday evening by Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga. At the ceremony, Motshekga revealed that the North West’s pass rate had seen the “third highest improvement” among the provinces, increasing from 76.2% in 2020, to 78.2% in 2021. 

Read in Daily Maverick: South Africa’s matric pass rate improves slightly to 76.4% despite ‘extremely difficult circumstances’


The class of 2021 faced the “stark realities” of living during the pandemic, said MEC Matsemela on Friday. 

“Needless to say, the outbreak of Covid-19, with its numerous variants and lockdown restrictions, had a devastating impact on schooling, particularly on the delivery of curriculum. Predominantly, learners experienced unprecedented learning losses, which will take ages to recover,” said Matsemela. 

Matsemela said a total of 41,081 North West candidates sat for the 2021 NSC examination.

“In total, the number of candidates who achieved bachelor passes is 13,875 [33.8%], which is more than the previous year’s 11,820. The number of passes with a diploma is 10,794 [26.3 %], which is higher than the 9,983 of 2020,” said Matsemela. 

Matsemela added that 6,478 distinctions were achieved in the province in various subjects, “excluding life orientation”.

The top three performing districts were as follows:

  • Bojanala Platinum is the leading district in the North West, with 81.6%; and is ranked 18th nationally;
  • Dr Kenneth Kaunda is second, with a district pass rate of 79.3%; and
  • Ngaka Modiri Molema is in third place, with a district pass rate of 75.2%.

Twenty-eight schools in the North West achieved a 100% pass rate in the 2021 NSC exams, while 216 schools obtained a pass rate of 80% and above, said Matsemela.

Gimnasium High School was the top performing school in the province, with 214 subject distinctions, followed by Wesvalia High School with 207 distinctions, and Potchefstroom Girls’ High (186 distinctions). DM



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