The class of 2014 who wrote the Independent Examinations Board (IEB) matric exams are receiving widespread praise after a successful end of year pass rate of 98.38%. Of those, 85.5% scored bachelor passes making them eligible for entry into university. The exams were written by 9978 full time and 475 part time students, compromising 191 schools across the country.
The IEB is an examination board accredited by Umalusi, a schooling quality assurance council. The board sets independent exams for the National Senior Certificate (NSC), based on the national state curriculum. However, the exam papers are independent from those issued by the Department of Basic Education, and are personally moderated and inspected by Umalusi.
IEB chief executive officer, Anne Oberholzer, applauded the success of the current crop of matric students, attributing their success to a determination to make a success of their schooling career, from as earlier as the first grade.
“You’ve got children who understand and realize the importance of hard work,” she said.
She also recognized the efforts of the teachers at the respective schools, with many going out of their way to ensure learners fully understood the work being taught. Also contributing to the success was the support of the children’s parents, many of whom valued the importance of acquiring a proper education.
Of the 98% that passed, a massive 85.5% achieved marks that will qualify them for tertiary education at university level. Whilst this did not necessarily guarantee them entry, the marks would be sufficient enough should they wish to apply. A further 11.5% qualified with a diploma qualification, whilst a meager 3% managed a higher certificate qualification.
“Certainly these are children who from a young age have aspired to study some form of tertiary education. Congratulations to them for achieving that,” she said.
The past year also marked the introduction of the new Curriculum Assessment Policy Statements (CAPS) curriculum; a system that yielded major improvements in the maths and science sectors. Oberholzer noted that in both subjects, nearly 89% of those who wrote those exams achieved a pass rate of over 40%.
And whilst the core of IEB schools was made up of private schools, Oberholzer said there was a common misconception that these schools were expensive, and out of the fee range of regular South Africans.
“You do have your very expensive, top of the range schools. But you also have a number of schools in SA that are middle and low fee. As long as someone is earning a reasonably good salary, there are a number of independent schools within the range of parents,” she said. VOC (Mubeen Banderker)