The matric class of 2022 achieved a pass rate of 80.1% in their final examinations, a 3.7 percentage point improvement from 76.4% the previous year.

The Free State province took the lead for the third year in a row with an 88.5% pass rate, while Limpopo was at the bottom of the list again with a 72.1% rate. Learners in Kwa-Zulu Natal attained the highest number of passes qualifying the candidates to study for a bachelor’s degree.

Speaking at the release of the 2022 National Senior Certificate (NSC) examination results in Johannesburg on Thursday evening, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga applauded the fact that none of South Africa’s provinces achieved a pass rate below 70%.

So, what’s the debate all about?

The provinces with the highest improvements are Kwa-Zulu Natal, Limpopo and the Eastern Cape. Again, the great work done in these three most rural provinces must be applauded

Motshekga

She reiterated the credibility and integrity of the results — as pronounced by the education quality assurance body Umalusi earlier this week. This comes after reports from various assessment bodies of instances of cheating and irregularities during the examinations.

Earlier on Thursday, Motshekga hosted a breakfast in honour of the matric class of 2022’s top performers, telling them: “You were the group we were extremely concerned about, but you emerged victorious and stood firm against adversity.”

She said the 2022 matric students were the class hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, which started when they were in grade 10.

The pandemic disrupted learning and delayed the release of matric results. The outcome of the exams for the class of 2020 was only released nearly two months into the new year, on 23 February 2021.

On Thursday, the basic education minister noted that pupils in KwaZulu-Natal also had to contend with the effects of devastating floods which hit the province in April last year.

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