Matric results: Lower pass rate a result of department’s poor handling of COVID-19
22 February 2021
AfriForum sincerely congratulates all matriculants who successfully completed their school careers in 2020 on this achievement and thanks educators who made it possible despite extremely difficult circumstances. Nevertheless, the civil rights organisation places the 5% drop in the matric pass rate compared to 2019 at the door of the Department of Basic Education’s poor handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Natasha Venter, Manager for Education Rights at AfriForum, the constant closure of schools for unnecessarily long periods, inadequate provision of safety equipment, the department’s waste of billions of rands, as well as the uncertainty about the rewrite of two leaked exam papers were some of the factors that contributed to the lower pass rate.
Last year, AfriForum assisted several schools with the provision of safety equipment such as hand sanitiser to ensure that schools could open safely, and also brought a successful court application to oppose the department’s decision that all matriculants should have to rewrite the leaked matric papers.
“However, it is time for the department to take the future of South Africa’s children seriously, as there are many public schools that have still not received adequate safety equipment. The department should also take action against politicians such as Panyaza Lesufi, who allows his department to waste millions of rands to allegedly disinfect schools while the needs of children are receiving inadequate attention.”
Issued Chanté Kelder, Media Relations Officer, AfriForum, 22 February 2021