“The first thing that we would like to do is to congratulate those matriculants that have made it through this year. In actual fact it’s not the 20 per cent, we should also look at the 78.2 per cent that have passed,” KC Makhubele, managing executive of marketing and strategic relationships at Quest Staffing Solutions, told CNBC Africa.
“Not all of those 78.2 per cent of people that have passed are actually going to get to varsity and get a degree because the positions and the availability of seats at universities in South Africa are limited.”
While 78.2 per cent of the matric class of 2013 passed, the other 20 odd per cent will have to make different choices for the future in terms of furthering their education or entering the job market.
According to Makhubele, there are nonetheless opportunities to further one’s education or have a career, depending on one’s results.
“There are those who have passed but not very well. The other alternative would be for them to look at other avenues of actually getting an education that would allow them to go into employment, and those education levels would refer to thing like learnerships,” Makhubele explained.
“[With learnerships] you are able to go in and attain a higher qualification that will allow you to get into employment.”
He added that learnerships also provide documentation of completion in the form of a certificate, as well as experience, which is instrumental for the job world.
“Many, when they come out of university, are going to struggle because when you start looking for employment, people will always say ‘you’ve got a degree but do you have the experience?’” he said.
“The learnerships are a very good way of making sure that you still get somewhere in terms of your career. At the same time, you are gaining a level of work experience.”
Mary Metcalfe, former EducationMEC for Gauteng, explained that while those who passed their matric are to be celebrated, those that did not or were unable to write it need support and encouragement from their communities.
“In terms of what the pass rate means, it is a cause for celebration. What we need to remember is that the Department of Basic Education’s documents tell us that at least 60 per cent of our young people don’t achieve an education qualification above Grade 9. This is a small group that succeeded against the odds and have done well in matric,” she said.