"...that in 1994, the year the 2005 matriculants began grade one, 495 408 full-time candidates wrote the senior certificate exam and 287 343 passed. Eleven years later, 508 363 full-time candidates wrote the senior certificate and 347 184 passed."Unless I am mistaken, that means that the matric pass rate went from 58% to 68% in that period. In 2004 the matric pass rate was 70.7 %.
While I am willing to accept that the matric pass rate has improved because of underlying improvements to the education system, I do have to wonder if standards have dropped over the years as well. That, along with the allegations of upward mark adjustments in 2005, make the matric certificate seem even less valuable than it was in the past.
We need to guard against debasing an already somewhat valueless (to most school-leavers) qualification like a matric certificate just for the sake of improving pass rates.