Trailblazers: class of 2019 achieve record exam success

The national matric pass rate rose to 81,3% - the highest recorded pass rate since the dawn of democracy in South Africa.

According to education analysts, this improvement suggests that inequalities in education may be reducing, but systemic challenges in the education system still inhibit quality schooling.




The noteworthy increase in the 2019 pass rate was bolstered by significant improvements in ‘lower quintile, no-fee’ schools across the country, and a marked improvement by schools in the traditionally under-performing provinces of the Eastern Cape, Limpopo and Kwa-Zulu Natal.

Free State recorded a total pass rate of 88,4%, followed by Gauteng at 87,2% and North West at 86,8%. The Eastern Cape and Northern Cape were still among the lowest performing provinces, recording a pass rate of 76,5%, while Limpopo came in at 73,2%.

For the first time, all 72 districts across South Africa recorded a pass rate no lower than 60% - a considerable feat despite the fact that many of the schooling systems in these districts continue to experience significant structural challenges.

Nationally, the bachelor pass rate improved by eight percentage points to reflect 36,9% of candidates who qualify for university studies. Notably, learners in quintiles one to three, from areas with the lowest surrounding wealth, achieved a bachelor pass rate increase of 14,4% as compared to 2018.

While improvements to results across the board were a cause for celebration, the abysmal dropout rates statistic spotlighted a concerning trend. Of the learners who started Grade 1 in 2018, only 42.1% or 409,906 learners passed Grade 12.

Partners for Possibility congratulates the successful class of 2019, and commiserates with those who did not quite achieve what they set out to.

We are especially cognisant of the crucial role that principals, teachers, school management teams, school governing bodies, parents and communities have played in ensuring that our matric learners are primed for success in the future.

You are true nation builders working together to co-create a more just, equitable, caring and joyful future in South Africa. We thank you!


30 November -1, 00:00