BRIEF: We salute you, class of 2020!

By Sarah Evans

After an annus horribilis for the matric class of 2020, the results are out: matrics from government schools earned a pass rate of 76.2%. 

It’s a 5% drop from 2019, but given the effects of the pandemic on education, it’s much better than even Basic Education minister Angie Motshekga’s predictions. Independent schools did even better, with a pass rate of 98%.

Considering the stresses of online learning plus the psychological impact of the pandemic, all the matrics did amazingly.

But why do independent schools, which include private and hybrid schools, always fair better, you may ask? While they do tend to observe slightly different curriculums (IEB vs Caps) this doesn’t make as much of a difference as many think. Both are accredited by the same organisation – Umalusi. The real difference, as one education site notes, is that government schools are typically very stressed in terms of resources and surrounded by socio-economic circumstances, such as high poverty, which hinder students from committing to their education. But there are many excellent public schools too.

Government or independent, we salute our matric class of 2020 AND their teachers, and wish them everything of the best for the future. 

This article appeared as part of The Wrap, 25 February 2021. Sign up to receive our weekly updates.