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WC Education MEC: matriculants and their options

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After achieving a national pass rate of 81.3%, the matric class of 2019 will be weighing their options regarding their future. The class has been praised for achieving the highest pass rate in a democratic South Africa. Basic Education Minister Angie Motsheka made the announcement on Tuesday evening.

Western Cape Minister of Education Debbie Schafer explained that usually there are three different “passes”:

“For a Bachelors pass one must achieve 50% or more in 4 subjects, one of each from the designated list. They must have achieved 30% or more in language of learning and teaching at a higher education institution.”

“Diploma you have to had pass NSC, plus achieved 40% or more in 4 subjects from the designated list and 30% in the home language of the institution.”

“Higher certificate one must have just passed the NSC and obtained 30% or more in the language of learning at the higher education.”

The MEC reiterated that passing matric does not automatically mean you will be studying and that the decision to take on students lies with tertiary institutions.

“Bachelor qualifies you to attend university, but the university must decide who they want to take on. Bachelor pass one is then entitled to attend the university Degree course and obviously what subjects you have and if you meet the requirements of the course that you want to study.”

She however noted that there are various means of obtaining a degree.

“It depends entirely on people’s interests. Bachelor’s degree you can attend University, college, technical college there are various career options. It’s not Universities that give degrees anymore,” said Schafer.

“The department of education of the province doesn’t deal with National Higher Education Institution funding – that is a National Department.”

Schafer said that within the next week, a statement will be released confirming the details pertaining to rewriting and remarking of papers. Details will also be accessible on the WCED website or send queries to this email address.

“Some would want a remark and they can apply for it if they feel the marks should be better. The Supplementary exam has been moved to June because it was changed last year. This means that there are no longer supplementary exams in March,” explained Schafer.

“If they feel that there is subject that was close to pass and they need the subject, they can apply for rewrite or rechecking of their marks. Email that address tor you can look at the website, all information will be there.”

When questioned about doubts over the quality of the passes, Schafer emphasised that a number of factors need to be considered.

“Whenever we look at the pass rate in Western Cape, we want to make sure that what we do is of quality and high standard. One needs to look at how many learners wrote, how many got kicked out and how many dropped out of school, how many has fallen out of the system since grade 10 as well as how the pass percentage was made.”

“There is the added complication of the MEO, Multiple Exam opportunity. Many learners that progress writes the MEO which means they don’t write the full exam at the end of year. They only write part of it and then they supposed to write the other part in June. If one looks at the figures some provinces have 20 -21% of the learners that have taken the option. This makes a huge difference to the marks because it will make the marks look higher with the weaker learners being excluded,” said Schafer.

The minister further reassured students that even if you had not passed matric- you still have many options.

“Well Done class of 2019! Thank you to all the teachers, administrators, parents as well as the parents who ensured that the learners have the best opportunities.”

“If you haven’t done as well as you were hoping. Don’t despair, it’s not the end of the world. There are other options, there are many disappointments in life and best way is to learn to cope with it and move on,” urged Schafer.


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