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The 2006 matric results by race

What progress, if any, has there been since apartheid ended? With comparison tables

In a speech made shortly after his release from prison in 1990 Nelson Mandela stated that: “Apartheid education is inferior and a crime against humanity.” As Christine Qunta recently reminded us, in the “1991 matriculation examination, only 41% of African pupils passed and only 11% obtained matriculation exemptions as compared to 95% of white pupils who passed and 42% who gained matriculation exemption.” Sixteen years on it is interesting and important to compare the racial breakdowns of the matric results of 1991 with those of 2006. As education for black South Africans under apartheid was so bad, how much better is it now?

There are no racial statistics for the matric results between 1995 and 2002. The racial classification of pupils writing matric was only re-introduced under the then Minister of Education, Kader Asmal, in 2003. These statistics are not particularly reliable as they rely on candidates self-classifying themselves: some refuse, while others tick the incorrect box. In some cases, apparently, headmasters told their whole matriculation class to enter the wrong racial designation. There is also no racial breakdown available for pupils writing the Independent Examination Board exam. Nonetheless, although they should be treated with due caution, they do provide a rough indication of the progress, or lack thereof, in matric pass rates by race since the ANC took power.

442 800 Black pupils wrote matric in 2006 as compared to 304 315 in 1991. The pass rate for black pupils – which is not a reliable measure, for reasons discussed yesterday – has increased to 62%. However, the matric exemption rate, at 11.6%, is little better than it was in 1991. And it is still much lower than the 16% it was in the mid-to-late 1980s. Meanwhile, the total number of white pupils writing the government matric has dropped from 65 933 in 1991 to 42 483 last year, with the matric exemption rate increasing to 52% due clearly to a softening of assessment standards. The number of Indian candidates has also dropped – from 14 248 in 1991 to 10165 last year – but the exemption rate has also increased, from 49% to 55%. The number of Coloured pupils writing matric has increased from 22 405 in 1991 to 34 417 in 2006. However, unlike the other two minority groups, their exemption rate has declined – from 22% in 1991 to 17%.

Under apartheid there were wide divergences in the pass and exemption rates in the Department of Education and Training (DET) schools, as well as in the homelands. There are also substantial differences at provincial level today.

There were centres of excellence in the Homeland education system. In 1991 of the 22 433 candidates who wrote matric in Bophuthatswana, 14 700 passed (66%), and 5413 passed with exemption (24%). By contrast, of the 35 785 black pupils who wrote matric in the North West province last year only 22 270 (64%) passed and only 4138 (12%) passed with exemption.

The worst pass rates of 1991 were to be found in the townships of Johannesburg and the Highveld. The overall pass rate in these areas was 34.3% and the matric exemption rate was 7.5%. These low pass rates were due mainly to political disturbances, with most school days being lost to boycotts and teacher strikes. There has been something of a recovery in Gauteng since then. Last year the pass rate for black pupils was 76.3%, with 13.3% passing with endorsement. Last year the Free State had the highest matric exemption rate for black pupils (15.3%) while the Eastern Cape had by far the lowest (7.3%).

The problem with black schooling under apartheid was not just the low percentage of exemptions, but the poor quality of even those passes. Very few students passed higher grade mathematics. In 1990 the Minister of Education was asked how many pupils at schools falling under the control of the DET (i.e. excluding the homelands) had written and passed mathematics at higher grade. The answer: 5 672 pupils had written the exam but only 906 had passed. Of these 12 had received A’s, 34 B’s, 129 C’s, and 252 D’s. In answer to another parliamentary question the Minister revealed that in the 1991 matric of the 29 729 pupils who passed the DET exam with exemption, 20 had passed with A aggregates, 207 with B aggregates, 1 656 with C aggregates, and 12 470 with D aggregates.

Last year 1 172 black pupils passed the government matric with distinction. Moreover, 10 256 black pupils passed higher grade mathematics, with 3 338 passing with an A, B, or C grade. Although this meant that only 2.3% of the black pupils who wrote the 2006 exam passed maths at higher grade – and only 0.8% with an A, B, or C – in absolute terms there seems to have been progress since 1991. Gauteng (4.0%) and the Western Cape (3.8%) had the highest percentage of black pupils passing maths at this level, due probably to the greater accessibility of former Model C schools in these provinces. In the Eastern Cape however only 1.6% of black pupils passed higher grade maths, while in Kwa-Zulu Natal the figure was 1.8%. By contrast, 23.5% of Indian pupils and 24.7% of White pupils who wrote the government matric, and 41.2% of pupils who wrote the IEB version, passed higher grade maths.

On the assumption that one can make comparisons between the results of then and now, what can one conclude from all this? While clearly many black pupils have been able to take advantage of relatively high quality education in the former Model C schools overall there has been little improvement in the quality of black education, as measured by the matric exemption rate and the percentage of pupils passing with higher grade mathematics. Indeed, it is possible that if one excluded the black pupils in the formerly non-black schools, one would find that the exemption rates in the townships and former homeland areas are worse than they were under apartheid. Just as notably, the steady improvement in the quality of Coloured education through the 1980s and early 1990s has been reversed under the ANC, with the percentage of Coloured pupils passing with exemption dropping by over a fifth since the early 1990s.

What is certain, is that the quality of black (and Coloured) education is nowhere near what it should have been. After 1994 spending on pupils was fully equalised, the political disruption of schooling ended, and schools integrated. Most of the obstacles to improving school education had been removed, all that was needed were the right policies and good administrators. The ANC cannot really blame anyone else for this failure. Not only has it determined policy since 1994, but its activists took over the running of the Education department shortly thereafter, and the largest teaching union – SADTU – is aligned to the ruling party.





Wrote Passed % group Exemption % group Wrote Passed % group ABC % group
Asian 823 703 85.4% 372 45.2% 299 270 32.8% 194 23.6%
% total 0.2% 0.2% 0.4% 0.6% 1.0% 1.4%
Black 442800 272890 61.6% 51180 11.6% 29657 10256 2.3% 3338 0.8%
% total 82.0% 75.5% 55.8% 59.4% 36.4% 24.3%
Coloured 34417 28181 81.9% 5902 17.1% 2021 1375 4.0% 512 1.5%
% total 6.4% 7.8% 6.4% 4.0% 4.9% 3.7%
Indian 10165 9387 92.3% 5641 55.5% 2844 2384 23.5% 1405 13.8%
% total 1.9% 2.6% 6.1% 5.7% 8.5% 10.2%
Unknown 2573 2244 87.2% 1073 41.7% 574 476 18.5% 247 9.6%
% total 0.5% 0.6% 1.2% 1.2% 1.7% 1.8%
White 42483 41268 97.1% 22018 51.8% 11588 10495 24.7% 6329 14.9%
% total 7.9% 11.4% 24.0% 23.2% 37.3% 46.0%
IEB 7035 6915 98.3% 5544 78.8% 2924 2901 41.2% 1733 24.6%
% total 1.3% 1.9% 6.0% 5.9% 10.3% 12.6%
GOVERNMENT 533261 354673 66.5% 86186 16.2% 46983 25256 4.7% 12025 2.3%
TOTAL 540296 361588 66.9% 91730 17.0% 49907 28157 13758
Sources: Department of Education and Independent Examination Board





Wrote Passed % group Exemption % group Wrote Passed % group ABC % group
EASTERN CAPE 62955 35322 56.1% 4616 7.3% 1868 982 1.6% 309 0.5%
% total 14.2% 12.9% 9.0% 6.3% 9.6% 9.3%
FREE STATE 25859 17754 68.7% 3962 15.3% 1209 670 2.6% 226 0.9%
% total 5.8% 6.5% 7.7% 4.1% 6.5% 6.8%
GAUTENG 51514 36522 70.9% 6821 13.2% 3973 2054 4.0% 724 1.4%
% total 11.6% 13.4% 13.3% 13.4% 20.0% 21.7%
KWAZULU-NATAL 113858 71322 62.6% 12476 11.0% 5886 2096 1.8% 639 0.6%
% total 25.7% 26.1% 24.4% 19.8% 20.4% 19.1%
LIMPOPO 104274 57505 55.1% 13405 12.9% 12506 2345 2.2% 707 0.7%
% total 23.5% 21.1% 26.2% 42.2% 22.9% 21.2%
MPUMALANGA 36322 22686 62.5% 4277 11.8% 1591 743 2.0% 253 0.7%
% total 8.2% 8.3% 8.4% 5.4% 7.2% 7.6%
NORTH WEST 34684 22270 64.2% 4138 11.9% 1863 911 2.6% 304 0.9%
% total 7.8% 8.2% 8.1% 6.3% 8.9% 9.1%
NORTHERN CAPE 2841 2055 72.3% 308 10.8% 122 58 2.0% 22 0.8%
% total 0.6% 0.8% 0.6% 0.4% 0.6% 0.7%
WESTERN CAPE 10493 7454 71.0% 1177 11.2% 639 397 3.8% 154 1.5%
% total 2.4% 2.7% 2.3% 2.2% 3.9% 4.6%
TOTAL 442800 272890 61.6% 51180 11.6% 29657 10256 2.3% 3338 0.8%


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In the USA where schooling is considered above average according to world standards, African Americans also fair very bad. However, they make good athletes. Conclusion: A person’s genetic make up counts for much more than what is advocated by the liberals.

You stated that “schooling is considered above average according to world standards” in the USA.

What “world standards” are you talking about?

Since the USA took on OBE, they have had many pupils leaving school still unable to read or write.

BTW – did you go to school there?

Yet, our education ministers have taken this system on with open arms, through the direction

of UNESCO. Ever wondered why Naledi Pandor heads the delegation to UNESCO?

And Kader Asmal headed this earlier. The OBE system is being pushed on this country top-down

, and no amount of complaining from teachers, parents or pupils is going to stop it.

This is a “new world order” initiative that started in America, and is getting fierce opposition there.

Secondly, your conclusion that genetic makeup determines school performance shows

that you are not very well informed.

This article indicates how even IQ scores can improve with social factors.

“In a paper to be published in the October issure of the journal Psychological Science, William Dickens and James Flynn show that the gap in measured cognitive ability between blacks and whites has narrowed by at least a quarter since 1972. The researchers analyzed nationally representative samples of blacks and whites on four different tests of cognitive ability. On all four tests, blacks show large gains relative to whites with results varying somewhat across the different tests. Pooling the results, the researchers find that blacks have gained an average of .18 IQ points a year on whites from 1972 to 2002 for a total gain of 5.4 IQ points. Further, blacks have gained on whites at all points in the distribution of ability, with gains being only modestly lower for those in the top 10 percent.”

“These gains in cognitive ability have come during a time when blacks have made notable progress towards social and economic equality in some areas and suggest the possibility that further progress will bring further IQ gains. ”

Ft2 go and ask your money back on history lessons, somebody deprived of the wonderful chance to gain knowledge on history ! Mute Fool , we are not scared of blood , we just do not believe in genocide like some animals do. But that does not mean we will not protect ourselves. Just the other night I have spoiled my Rottweiler by letting him “play” with criminal who wanted to break into car. Why get my poor dog of the guy if he caught him ? So I lighted a cigaret fetched my 9 mm pistol, & well watched the spectucal until my dog could not play anymore, round about 30-40 minutes. So well afterwards I fired a shot into the ground and the criminal got a bit of speed, and ran away. He left a lovely pool of blood. Which I left there for everyone to see. I acctually still have his torn trousers. The line of blood went straight to hospital about 10 km away. Well needless to say, my dog received T-Bones for the rest of the week !

To make sure that some ANIMAL does not poison my dog, I borrowed a stuffed Baboon from a Proffesional Hunter. We fixed a light (a blue one ) to the bottom of the baboon , we through the torn trousers over the light. We bought some stuff at a sangoma shop, do’nt know what it is but it looks impressive and we hung it overhead of the baboon. That night I switched on the light. Sitting behind the wall , I could hear a lot of “Yo’s ” . The next morning NO black person walked past my property.

The downside is…ever since my gardener has disappeared an my maid, bt what the heck…it is lakka in the New South Africa.

I am currently working on a project, to take this scheme INTO the the “location”. I acctually wat to put it on film and put it on a website so that everybody can laugh their asses off. Do’nt you think it is BRILLIANT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Critical thinking will inform us that if the point is to show how the ANC has failed SA’s scholars, then your diving and reporting the stats into racial lines is illogical. Secondly it is abundantly clear that you do not offer any solutions. Thirdly having been thru that oppressive education system, let me assure you that getting 10 distinctions is irrelevant in an oppressive society, TOTALLY. Fourthly, are you aware that schooling levels and the number of pupils interested in going to school is declining INTERNATIONALLY?

On the tune of ” I’ve got the Power ”

I’ve got the brains , maybe i’ts co’s I’m white ! But I’ve got the Brains !!!!!!!

And Selebi heads Interpol! What does that prove ? That we have the best police force in the world as stated by a gentleman doing his utmost to appear politically correct? God, what a joke.

Secondly, if you are interrested in intellect – do some reading on ‘G’. And them dream on …

I see I am confronting you with facts again ? I am very sorry but if I could I would have e-mailed you the photo’s of necklace murders also, or did you guys forget that you killed black people by putting a tyre around them and burning the tyre, and thus killing the person slowly. Surely you can not say the whites did it ? Winnie Mandela ( THE MOTHER OF THE NATION ) ruled with a matchbox. Have you ever seen somebody that died in such a way ? Once the guy is on fire there is acctually nothing you can do for him anymore, he dies a slow death, while people toy-toy around him, dancing….his wife and children standing alongside the road screaming for help ! When you stop at the scene it is as if the crowd was never there….but you feel like killing them , but you see you cannot do it ! The law forbids it. Well the poor oke that is burning must die a slow death, while his children cry looking at you for answers, which you can not give……… Do NOT tell me I must feel guilty ! Go and ask your comrades ! I do not hate black people , I hate COMRADES


I see you do not want to answer me back ? A bit touchy on the subject that blacks actually killed blacks without reason in the Apartheid Era ? What about Quatro Camp ? Can we go there ? The rape of children 12 – 16 years old ? Repeatedly 3, 4 , 5 times a day in the name of FREEDOM ? The facts of history will not disappear !

Those are interesting statistics, however accurate they may be.

If ones looks at any situation, whether it be starting a new diet plan at 50kgs over weight, or learning a new language like myself, the greatest gains are seen in the beginning.

Take the example of an English speaking person learning Chinese and a Chinese person wishing to increase his/her vocabulary, surely the greatest gains will be seen by the person who has the most to learn?

So the above example can be applied to your little theory. In laymen terms, the black population have had a hell of a lot more to learn in our society than their counterparts.

You should get your facts straight. Blacks in America have it much better than Blacks here (On average). Yet, they still perform bad at school/University etc. The IQ scores between Whites and Blacks are not shrinking. Aboslute nonsence. Just answer this, lets assume it was so and IQ scores were shrinking where does the difference come from in the first place. Not just in America but all over the world. The truth is so plain to see. Why do you think the Mowries are so good at playing rugby? Surely genetics play a big role. Even poor Asians (poorer than the blacks) outscore Blacks in IQ tests. So the genral theory that social circumstances paly an overwhelming role in IQ scores/Sat’s etc. is flaud. That means you are ill informed. Go an read the bell curve and you will get an honest answer. Ps! Surely by now we should have seen at least a few brilliant black Mathimaticains, physicists, inventors etc.

That is what is boils down to. However, people do not want to admit the fact. Forever looking for some sort of an excuse. When Europenas set foot in Africa, they were surprised at how backward the indigenous people were. Now they want to blame Bantu Education for their poor results. At least the Whites gave them Bantu education. They did not have any education system. Apart from having your manhood snipped.

That is what is boils down to. However, people do not want to admit the fact. Forever looking for some sort of an excuse. When Europenas set foot in Africa, they were surprised at how backward the indigenous people were. Now they want to blame Bantu Education for their poor results. At least the Whites gave them Bantu education. They did not have any education system. Apart from having your manhood snipped.

Firstly , you are not addresing the issue at hand about education, anyway. We will do all that again if thats the best way to get freedom, no doubt. It was war, but you couldnt have seen it and I suspect you are not wise enough to understand our situation then. I dont condone killing of any human being, but we had to do whatever as long as we werenot ruled by your kind. I see you are conviniently not mentioning why all that was going on in the country in the first place. Typical , to assess the symptoms but noot the actual aetiology.

I wont even go on an ugly competition aboutr all the atrocities whites did.

What whites did, pales into insignificance when you look what Bob, Idi Amin etc did. Not even speaking about what happened in Rwanda. If Whites never came to this continent, you would not be here today.

You wrinte and fink “bad”…your logic is “flaud”…and who are the “Mowries”…

of your argument that no-one may criticise the ANC government because of the war that they had to win against apartheid. If I have misread your argument please correct me.

For the record I am pleased that the war against apartheid was won. However as pleasing as this was and the fact that we were led by a giant among men for the first five years is no-one allowed to criticise anything today? Am I right that if you are a middle aged white male under 50 years old then anything you say is automatically dismissed as being of no relevance whatsoever because you must be a racist.

The article is a good one because it highlights the fact that South African education is simply going to impoverish South Africans in the future because they will not be competitive with the rest of the world. The ANC led education department is utterly, totally and entirely hopeless. They are more interested in racial targets than education. If I am wrong then they show little sign of actually wanting to educate. The statistics prove that my statement is right – the ANC led education system is no good.

This article is generally seriously faulty, and it seems as you didn’t pass higher grade maths either.

The group percentages for the overall results are accurately calculated but not those for maths.

For example to start at the top of the list, for Asian pass rates for higher grade maths. 270 out of 299 is 90% and not thirty something % (or should that be thirsty something because your maths ability has driven me to drink!)

it should be banned (including BEE and AA) as it is illegal.

Ok so you don’t want to be ruled by our kind, I can understand that. but now we are ruled by your kind and we don’t want that either. So please give us some land to rule ourselves, then every kind is ruled by its own leaders, and everyone is happy.

Question: Can you compare the atrocities of the white government did with what the black governemnts did in the rest of Africa? Can you even came near a comparison? Did you know what they did? Do you want to know?

never mind what’s he’s done recently? Also in the name of FREEDOM and all sanctioned by the silence of our own government. Someone should kidnap Mugabe and out him on trial in the Hague. That would open the eyes of the world to what our FREEDOM loving ANC is really about.

How many years before this current government experiences sanctions like the previous one did?

The ANC deserves applause for a job well so far. Rome was not built in one day.

End of comments.





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