South Africa


Northern Cape: It might be below national average, but this province basks in ‘highest improvement’ honour

Northern Cape: It might be below national average, but this province basks in ‘highest improvement’ honour
Northern Cape Premier Dr Zamani Saul. (Photo by Gallo / Foto24 / Emile Hendriks)

The Northern Cape achieved a 71.4% pass rate in the 2021 National Senior Certificate exams, an increase of 5.4% from 2020, making it the most-improved province in terms of its percentage increase.

The Northern Cape has shown the “highest improvement” among all provinces in its matric pass rate, rising from 66% in 2020 to 71.4% in 2021. However, its pass rate remains well below the national average of 76.4%. 

“Although the overall pass rate in the province has increased with 5.4%, we regrettably still remain below the national average of 76.4%. This remains a concern, and more needs to be done to attain a pass rate not less than the national average,” Northern Cape premier Zamani Saul said on Friday.  

“Concerted efforts must be made to ensure that this is achieved in 2022, and this must form part of our turnaround strategy to improve learning outcomes across all grades.”

In 2020, the Northern Cape obtained a 66% pass rate, the lowest in the country. However, on Thursday evening, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga commended it as the province with the “highest improvement”, with a 71.4% pass rate.

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

This is an improvement of 5.4% from 2020. 

A total of 12,726 candidates in the province wrote the 2021 National Senior Certificate exams, according to Northern Cape education department spokesperson Geoffrey van der Merwe.

There were 1,923 distinctions obtained in the province, a decline of 1.3%, and 3,856 candidates achieved a bachelor pass, an increase of 1.9% from 2020.

“Out of a total of 145 high schools which sat for the 2021 NSC exams, nine schools in the province obtained a 100% pass rate, while 116 achieved a pass rate above 60%, in comparison to the 90 schools of 2020,” said Saul. 

The Namakwa District had achieved the highest district pass rate with 81.2%, an increase of 2.5%, followed by ZF Mgcawu with 79.8%, a rise of 8.5%, and Frances Baard on 69.6%, an improvement of 4.6% over 2020. 

The top three schools in the province are Hoërskool Diamantveld and Kimberley Girls’ High School in the Frances Baard District, and Douglas High School in the Pixley Ka Seme District. DM

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