On 3rd January 2019 the Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, announced that the 2018 matric pass rate reached 78.2 percent. This mark saw an increase of 3.1 percent compared to 2017.

It has been five years since the matric pass rate has reached this high, with 2013’s matric pass rate landing at 78.2 percent.

Although this is a significant improvement, the mathematics and physical science results make for far less positive reading as both subjects are lower compared to that of last year.

The class of 2017 saw a pass rate of 51.9 percent with a total of 127 197 pupils achieving a pass in Mathematics. On the Physical Science side, 62.2 percent passed, accounting for a total of 116 862 pupils.

In comparison to 2018, only 51.5 percent of students passed their Mathematics exams, making up a total of 265 810 learners. As for Physical Science, this subject also experienced a slight dip as 192 618 passed, or 62 percent.

The class of 2018 also showed a slight decline when it comes to the number of distinctions, achieving a total number of 156 885 compared to 161 081 distinctions in 2017.

In 2018, about 5 828 students got distinctions in Mathematics compared to the 6 726 students who got distinctions in 2017 and 8 135 students got distinctions in Physical Science compared to the 7 861 students in 2017.

While the 2018 class as a whole performed better compared to previous years, it still looks as though the necessary learning in the areas of Mathematics and Physical Science is something that needs to be addressed.

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