Woza Matric

The Matric class of 2019 at Monument High School in Kraaifontein writing exams.  Photo: Henk Kruger/African News Agency

Matric results – political reaction: The good, the bad and the ugly

The ANC are keen to push the positive sentiment of this year’s matric results, but the DA and EFF are upset with the bigger picture. Here’s what they said.

Woza Matric

The Matric class of 2019 at Monument High School in Kraaifontein writing exams.  Photo: Henk Kruger/African News Agency

It’ll be some time before the dust settles on this year’s matric results. Despite the government’s joy that the pass rate has reached its highest-ever level, opposition parties have criticised several other elements of the Class of 2019’s academic performance. Here’s what the “big four” political parties have had to say:

Matric results: Political reaction from the major parties

ANC – Cyril Ramaphosa lauds academic achievements

“South Africans can be proud that matric results and education, like most aspects of our nation’s development, is on an upward trajectory which should inspire all of us to work together to accelerate and maintain excellence.”

“There has also been an increase in the number of female learners achieving bachelor’s passes, the Eastern Cape recorded the highest improvement in the matric pass rate, and not one of the country’s 75 districts performed below 60% – these are stellar achievements.” 

Cyril Ramaphosa

DA – opposition vent fury over “poisonous” drop-out rates

“For years now the DBE punts the national pass rate because it shifts the focus from their perpetual failures as an ANC government. The slow poison of drop-out rates between grades 10 and 12 is eating away at the future of the youth of this country. Every child has the right to quality basic education.”

“Since 2015, which saw the highest number of pupils receive their matric results, there has been a decline each year. This should be a real and urgent concern for the DBE. If we carry on this trajectory, more than half of all learners who start Grade 1 this year, will never see the inside of a NSC-exam room.”

DA statement

EFF – party calls for abolition of “private” curriculum after matric results

“We congratulate all learners. Those who went under-resourced, those who went hungry and those who did not pass. They made it to an exam against all the odds. A majority of learners who failed in their matric results have been let down by our schools, with many failing to get a good education during their younger years.”

“The children of the rich, the whites and the politicians send their children to private schools, where they have state-of-the-art facilities and low student-to-teacher ratios. We must abolish the separate IEB and NSC curriculums, to create a single examination for all learners… Education must be based on academic talent, not how deep one’s pockets are.”

EFF statement

Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) – Mkhuleko Hlengwa unhappy with higher education

“The 2019 matric results must be taken with a pinch of salt when the future is taken into account. The biggest question becomes ‘what next?’ when you have a higher education system that is ill equipped for these results. The reality is that South Africa has under-qualified lecturers at TVET colleges.”

“This is where the majority of those who have passed will be expected to go. The certification programme is poorly managed. Whilst we celebrate these results as a country we must avoid churning out quantity over quality if we are to meaningfully push back on the frontiers of poverty and inequality.”

Mkhuleko Hlengwa