Some thoughts on #Matric2018

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Every year we have our national jamboree and the media focuses on the schooling system for 2 weeks before it gets back to its usual diet of politics, corruption, celebrities and soapies. Looking through the DBE’s reports on the matric exam (all here) I am really impressed with what they manage to achieve in such a short space of time! I do want to write an article or two on Matric 2018 but for now here are some of my thoughts…

(1) STATISTICS: The matric pass rate seen in isolation is misleading. Remember that the widely-reported matric pass rate is just the number of full-time matrics passing divided by the number of full-time matrics writing (400,761 / 512,700 = 78%). However if we look at the cohort in Grade 1 there were about 1 million learners (according to the Education Statistics at a Glance 2007). [Note there are some repeaters in here. There are probably about 925,000 learners in this cohort – see Gustafsson, 2018]. So the throughput matric pass rate from Grade 1 is around 40-43%.

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(2) GENDER: For every 100 girls in matric there are only 82 boys. There are lots of reasons for this (see Van Broekhuizen & Spaull, 2017), but basically girls do better than boys at most school subjects and drop out at lower rates.

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(3) SPECIAL NEEDS: Only 12% of the SA population live in WC but 64% of Special Needs matric candidates come from WC. Every year when I read through the reports I’m shocked by the stats on Learners with Special Needs.  If you’re a parent with a Special Needs child you basically want to be in the Western Cape.

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(4) PROGRESS: There has been clear progress in a number of indicators over the last 10 years. Improvements in TIMSS, as well as increases in the numbers of Bachelor passes and passes in maths and science.

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2 responses to “Some thoughts on #Matric2018

  1. Nic

    Hope you have a good new year. Thank you again for some insightful ideas and information about the results.

    I would just like to know if I want to refer to your information on this email, how do I refer to it? I cannot remember if you have a web page in which the same information will be available then it will be easy to refer to it.

    Prof Jan Heystek
    Research Director / Navorsingsdirekteur

    Faculty of Education / Fakulteit Opvoedkunde
    Research niche area: Educational Leadership (Edu-Lead)
    Navorsings-nisarea: Opvoedkundige Leierskap (Edu-Lead)
    Tel: 018 299 4762
    http://www.nwu.ac.za
    http://education.nwu.ac.za/edu-lead

    Vrywaringsklousule / Disclaimer: http://www.nwu.ac.za/it/gov-man/disclaimer.html
    >>> Nic Spaull 2019/01/04 12:18 PM >>>

    Nic Spaull posted: “Every year we have our national jamboree and the media focuses on the schooling system for 2 weeks before it gets back to its usual diet of politics, corruption, celebrities and soapies. Looking through the DBE’s reports on the matric exam (all here) I am”

  2. christinedownton

    As always Nic terrific piece.
    Happy New Year

    From: Nic Spaull
    Reply-To: Nic Spaull
    Date: Friday, 4 January 2019 at 05:19
    To: Christine Downton
    Subject: [New post] Some thoughts on #Matric2018

    Nic Spaull posted: “Every year we have our national jamboree and the media focuses on the schooling system for 2 weeks before it gets back to its usual diet of politics, corruption, celebrities and soapies. Looking through the DBE’s reports on the matric exam (all here) I am”

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