South Africa achieved a 76.2 percent pass rate in the 2020 matric results, down 5.1 percent in comparison to the 2019 results, said the Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga at a press conference in Pretoria Monday.

She said a total of 72,5034 students wrote the matric examinations last year, with 76.7 percent boys and 75.8 percent girls having passed.

“It is a pity that we missed the 80 percent glass ceiling we achieved last year; though we appreciate the unquestionable resilience our school community has shown against such a devastating pandemic and managed to achieve a plausible 76.2 percent national pass,” said Motshekga.

She said she expected “bloodbath” (failure) because of the COVID-19 and the time the students lost during the national lockdown.

Schools in the country were closed during the national lockdown to combat COVID-19.

“The high quality passes we have achieved this year, especially the number of bachelor and diploma passes, the overall pass mark, and the passes with distinctions, even in critical subjects, are the hallmarks of the performance of the class of 2020,” said the official. “We are of the strong view that, had it not been for the novel COVID-19 pandemic, the class of 2020 could have been the best performers, since the inception of the national senior certificate.” Enditem

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