National Senior Certificate Examinations Outcomes: DBE & Umalusi briefing

Basic Education

02 March 2021
Chairperson: Ms B Mbinqo-Gigaba (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

Video Link

The Portfolio Committee on Basic Education met on a virtual platform to receive a briefing on the 2020 National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations outcomes by the Department of Basic Education (DBE) and the Council for Quality Assurance in General and Further Education and Training (Umalusi).

Highlights of the presentation by the DBE were the components of the schooling system, the unique educational context of learning under COVID-19 conditions, the improvements observed in the quality of school-based assessments, the performance rates in the combined June and November 2020 examination, a comparison of subject pass rates for full-time and part-time learners in 2019 and 2020, and the NSC pass rates by age, district, gender and qualification type. The brief also outlined the general improvement in the areas of access, redress, equity, efficiency, inclusivity and quality. The DBE highlighted the intervention strategies used to mitigate the issues raised in compliance with the directives of Umalusi on the quality of the 2020 NSC exams.

Umalusi explained its mandate and regulatory framework and the quality assurance processes that were undertaken in 2020. Its presentation also included the scope of the 2020 quality assurance assessment, areas where the DBE needed to improve, and the tracking of directives for compliance from 2018 to 2020. The brief also addressed the definition of standardisation, the standardisation and resulting processes used in the 2020 NSC exams, and challenges such as the mathematics and life sciences exam paper leakages. The Umalusi EXCO had approved the results, but had requested that any candidate implicated in a further investigation into the leakages would have his/her results blocked and the NSC certificate would be revoked.

The Committee appreciated the work of the DBE and Umalusi to ensure the completion of the 2020 NSC exams, despite the concerns of parents on COVID-19. It also appreciated Umalusi’s explanation of the process and principles used in assuring the quality of the 2020 NSC results.

Members asked the DBE questions on the conduct of the 2020 NSC exams, the profile of the class of 2020, the provision of sign language equipment to schools, performance pass rates, the curriculum completed in 2021, the quality of the 2020 NSC exams, the Vision 2030 performance indices, drop-out rates, and the performance in key subjects.

Umalusi was asked about standardisation and moderation, the effect of COVID-19 on the class of 2020, and efforts taken to administer examinations in other indigenous languages.

Meeting report

Mr Hubert Mweli, Director General (DG), Department of Basic Education (DBE) introduced the members of his team. He said about one million candidates had sat for the 2020 National Senior Certificate (NSC) exams, and his team would present the results of the 2020 class that wrote the exams, despite the COVID-19 challenges. He remarked that some learners wrote the exams in hospitals, and the DBE had faced court opposition to reopening schools 96 times, but DBE it had prevailed at the courts and the schools were kept open.

He extended apologies for the Minister, who was attending a funeral in the Eastern Cape, and the Deputy Minister, who was attending a Cabinet meeting. He himself was presently monitoring infrastructure sites in the Eastern Cape, but would be joining the meeting virtually.

The Chairperson invited Umalusi to address the Committee.

Prof John Volmink, Chairperson, Umalusi Council, introduced his team, and said 2020 had been a challenging year in which Umalusi had lost one of its council members, Mr Themba Kojana (Eastern Cape).

He said that the report was focused on policies followed on the quality assurance of NSC exams, which the Council had approved on February 15. The Council had adjudged the conduct of the exams as fair, despite the leakage of mathematics paper 2 and life sciences paper 2. The Council had found that there were no systemic irregularities that compromised the overall credibility and integrity of the November 2020 NSC exams administered by the DBE.

DBE overview of NSC examinations

Dr Rufus Poliah, Chief Director: National Assessment and Public Examination, DBE, said the report focused on the resilience demonstrated by the class of 2020, despite the COVID-19 challenges. The schooling system was comprised of about 12 543 419 learners, 442 940 educators, and 25 199 schools. The DBE had tried to insulate the class of 2020 from a unique educational context that involved extended school closures, learner and teacher absenteeism, intermittent school closures, the need for psycho-social support, and learning under COVID-19 conditions.


The class of 2020 was the seventh cohort to sit for the NSC, based on Curriculum Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS). It had entered Grade 1 in 2009, and had 11 years of fairly stable and conducive teaching and learning environment. The quality of school-based assessment had improved over the past few years and the standard and quality of public examinations had continually improved.


The seventh cohort had been affected by the discontinuation of the policy on multiple examination opportunity (MEO), the introduction of Sign Language Home Language in 2018, the introduction of specialisation in the technology subjects in 2018, the offering of two question papers in Accounting and Business Studies, and eradicating a designated list of subjects in 2018. COVID-19 had also led to combining the May/June examination with the October/November examination.


The total number of candidates for the NSC was 1 054 321, which was made up of 2020 May/June learners (school certificate, 2019 MEO and 2019 NSC), and 2020 full-time and part-time NSC November/December learners.


A comparison of the subject pass rates for 2019 and 2020 Grade 12 cohorts when the learners were in Grade 10, showed that the 2020 Grade 12s performed slightly better than 2019 Grade 12s. A similar trend was observed in the subject pass rates when the learners were in Grade 11. These results showed that Class 2020 learners would have had higher subject pass rates than that of 2019, if not for the impact of Covid.


Although the number of full-time enrolment figures for NSC exams had gradually decreased from 2016-2020, the number of learners that wrote the NSC exams was higher in 2020 compared to 2019. The full-time enrolment (FTE) for NSC exams was 616 754 learners in 2019, and 504 303 learners had written the exams, while the FTE for NSC exams in 2020 was 607 226, and 578 468 learners had written them.


The figures for part-time enrolment (PTE) had increased from 2016 to 2018, but had slightly decreased in 2019. A big drop in PTE had occurred in 2020 --170 923 in 2019 to 117 808 in 2020 -- which was probably due to COVID-19 challenges. The PTE for NSC exams was 170 963 learners in 2019, and 106 385 learners had written the exams, while the PTE for NSC exams in 2020 was 117 808, and 69 314 had written them.


Female enrolment for NSC exams was 55.9%, while male enrolment was 44.1%. There was a drop in mathematics and life science enrolment in 2020 in comparison with 2019 figures, but increases were observed in 2020 in comparison with 2019. The number of learners that progressed in 2020 decreased in comparison with 2019. The number of special needs learners that wrote NSC exams was almost equal to those that had enrolled. The average age of learners that wrote the exams was 18 years, but there were more female learners aged 18 in comparison to male learners. There were also more male learners aged 19 to 24 years. Full-time and part-time learners in correctional institutions wrote the NSC exams, as well as those receiving social grants.


2020 candidates had a higher Matric pass rate (440 702) in comparison with 2019 (409 397). The NSC exam pass rate had steadily increased since 2015, but there was a drop from 81.3% in 2019 to 76.2% in 2020. There was concern over the performance of learners in the Northern Cape and North West Provinces. Studies on the performance by poverty level showed that non-fee paying learners in KwaZulu-Natal rural areas performed better than learners in other provincial rural areas.


Over 350 000 learners were admitted to higher education institutions, with 210 820 in Bachelors and 150 000 in Diploma qualifications. Bachelor pass rates had increased gradually since 2015, but decreased slightly from 36.9% in 2019 to 36.4% in 2020. There was an increase in the pass rate for quintiles 1-3 in 2020 (20.0%) in comparison with 2019 (19.2%), while a decrease was observed in pass rates for quintile 4-5, from 15.5% (2019).to 14.4% (2020). The drop in quintile 4-5 could be attributed to COVID-19 and the fact that all learners had to write exams in all subjects they were registered to take.


There was a drop in subject performance by top performers in 2020. Candidates performed better in English in 2020 (99.2%) in comparison to 2019 (97.6%), but performance dropped in Afrikaans in 2020 (93.8%) when compared with 2019 (96.0%).  District performance was higher in 2019 in comparison to 2020, and of the top ten districts, six were in Gauteng, three in the Free State, and one in the Western Cape. Distinctions across provinces increased from 3.9% (2019) to 4.3% (2020). However, a comparison of 2019 to 2020 NSC results showed that the number of distinctions in key subjects had reduced. The trend of achievements by age showed that younger candidates in the age bracket of 16 to 19 achieved distinction marks.


Performance indices showed that discontinuing social grants in the year 2020 could have contributed to fewer achievements in the NSC exams. A comparison of best achievers between child and foster care learners showed that child care learners were the better performance group in NSC exams. Full-time and part-time candidates in correctional institutions performed well and received admission into higher education institutions and colleges. 


The general improvements observed in NSC exam results were in the areas of access, redress, equity, efficiency, quality, efficiency and inclusivity of the NSC exams. A total of 607 226 candidates had accessed the NSC exams by enrolling and writing them. Even though about 9 528 fewer learners enrolled in 2020, 74 165 more wrote in 2020 when compared with 2019. A total of 440 702 candidates attained an NSC -- an increase of 30 796 from 2019. Also, 24 762 more candidates attained admission to Bachelor studies compared to 2019, and a total of 323 343 (65.87%) of learners on social grants completed an NSC.


Data on redress showed that 71.5% of learners who attended non fee-paying schools had achieved an NSC. Also, 115 444 (29%) of the 385 717 “no fee” learners had attained admission to the Bachelor programme, and 55.7% had access to higher education institutions. Data on equity revealed that 72 030 more girls enrolled for NSC exams and about 48 358 more girls passed them.


Quality indices showed an improvement in business studies, from 71.6% to 77.9%, geography from 74.2% to 99.2, and history from 90% to 92.2%. An increase in subject performance at the 40% level was also observed in business studies, from 46.2 to 57%; economics, from 39.2 to 42.2%; history, from 74 to 77.6%; and maths literacy, from 54.5 to 57.7%.


A total of 210 820 (36.4%) learners had achieved admission to Bachelor studies, and 361 420 candidates (62.5%), were eligible to register for studies at higher education institutions. 85.4% of the learners with special education needs had written and passed the NSC examinations​  A total of 24 244 (37%) of the progressed learners that wrote all seven subjects had also obtained the NSC. 


The NSC exams were inclusive, as 2 058 learners with special needs wrote them, and 1 771 (85.4%) had attained the NSC. Also, 943 special needs learners had access to Bachelor studies admission, 582 had accessed Diploma studies admission, and 204 had accessed Higher Certificate studies admission.


Dr Poliah said the DBE had responded to issues raised in the Umalusi report, but asked the Chairperson to allow Umalusi to state the directives given and the level of compliance by the DBE. He added that the Department had made the interventions outlined in the presentation.


The Chairperson agreed that Umalusi Council should state the directives and the level of compliance by the DBE. She invited the CEO of Umalusi to address the Committee.


Umalusi Council: NSC quality assurance

Dr Mafu Rakometsi, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Umalusi said the highlights of the brief would include the mandate and regulatory framework of Umalusi, the framework for quality assurance of assessment, and the quality assurance processes that were undertaken in 2020. The brief would include the scope of the 2020 quality assurance of assessment, areas where the DBE needed to improve, and tracking of directives for compliance from 2018-2020. The brief would also address the standardisation and resulting process and give some recommendations.

Umalusi had moderated and approved 142 DBE NSC November 2020 question papers with their marking guidelines, which went through different moderation levels between January and September 2020. Between October and November, Umalusi had moderated the school-based assessment (SBA) in 13 selected subjects across the nine Provincial Education Departments (PEDs) and verified the moderation of the practical assessment task (PAT) of five subjects in five PEDs. It had monitored the state of readiness to conduct examinations across all nine PEDs, and had also monitored a sample of 466 examination centres and 32 marking centres across the nine PEDs. It had attended and participated in 133 marking guideline standardisation meetings. Thirty-four subjects were sampled for the verification of marking across the nine PEDs. A total of 65 subjects had been presented by the DBE for standardisation in the November 2020 NSC examinations, and 35 subjects for SC examinations.

All identified irregularities were managed following the regulations of the conduct, administration, and management of the NSC examinations by the Provincial Examination Irregularities Committees (PEICs). Challenges experienced were captured per PED. Umalusi would present a detailed report, covering all the quality assurance of assessment processes, with the Department of Basic Education and Provincial Education Departments.

Ms Mary-Louise Madalane, Senior Manager: Evaluation and Accreditation, Umalusi, said that with the moderation of the NSC question papers and their marking guidelines Umalusi had observed that DBE had fully complied with six Umalusi criteria on internal moderation, which had led to an increase in the number of question papers that were approved at the first moderation, from 36 (35.8%) in November 2019, to 69 (48.6%) in the November 2020 examination cycle of question papers. The DBE had therefore fully qualified and improved on its ranking from 2019 as a result of fewer question papers that needed a second internal moderation. 

The DBE had been directed to retrain the examiners and internal moderators on aspects such as technical details, quality of questions, and quality of marking guidelines. However, the compliance level with the technical details criterion had been stagnant, while there had been a decline on the quality of questions, accuracy, and reliability of marking guidelines between 2019 and 2020. The directive to improve examiners and internal moderators’ ability to set higher-order questions and balance the distribution of cognitive levels recorded an increase of 11% in 2020, in comparison with 2019 compliance levels. The directive to conduct workshops to capacitate examiners and internal moderators in the setting of question papers recorded a 3% increase in compliance, which indicated that question papers submitted for external moderation were in a better state and could be approved.

The school-based assessments (SBAs) had recorded Improvements in the use of a cognitive analysis grid in accounting (KZN PED), the creation of a safe information communication technology (ICT) system with a secure drive to conduct fair, valid, and reliable assessments for the retrospective exhibition, and the final NSC practical examination by the Western Cape PED (Visual Arts) and improvement in the quality of tasks at the Philadelphia School for the Deaf. In 2020, the DBE was partially compliant to SBAs, such as oral and sight-reading and adherence to subject assessment policies in comparison with 2019, when they were not compliant.

Even though there was evidence that the DBE was undertaking its internal moderation tasks by improving the quality of tasks at the Philadelphia School for the Deaf In 2020, poor internal moderation of the South African Sign Language (SASL) Home Language (HL) tasks still existed at all levels.

The DBE had been partially compliant in increasing the capacity of teachers on item development, adherence to CAPS concerning the conduct and administration of SBA, and practical assessment tasks (PATs) for oral subjects, but compliant on PATs for visual arts. It was also partially compliant on capacitating teachers on the development and use of marking guidelines/rubrics for marking. It had fully complied with two of the directives on the auditing of appointed markers, but was partially compliant with three of the directives.

Umalusi had conducted online meetings with PEDs to assess the state of readiness of DBE directives, and had recorded full compliance on eight directives, partial compliance on two directives, and no improvement on one directive. The directive that recorded no improvement was staff shortages at various levels of the system.

Umalusi had monitored the writing of NSC exams, and observed improvements in compliance with regulations in 2020. Some of the improvements were the effective implementation of the DBE published health and safety protocol for the conduct of examinations across districts in the nine PEDs, district officials conducting monitoring visits during the writing of life orientation, continuous assessment tests in sampled centres.

It had monitored marking directives and observed full compliance on two of the directives to the DBE, and partial compliance was observed on two other directives. The two directives that recorded partial compliance were on the training of security personnel at the entrance of marking centres and the other was on electricity back-up in case of power outages.

As a result of the 133 marking guideline standardisation meetings in which Umalusi had participated, the DBE was able to mitigate Covid-19 challenges through virtual meetings, which had led to a significant increase in the level of compliance with the 20 scripts pre-marking requirement in 2020 as compared to 2019. The improvement observed in the process of verification of marking was adherence to the social distancing protocol in seating arrangements, less evidence of “shadow marking” reported from the marking centres, and daily constructive feedback sessions were implemented for Afrikaans Home Language by the internal moderator and chief marker. In the Western Cape, there had been a smoother marking process for SASL Paper 1, Paper 2 and Paper 3 than in previous years, internal moderation for Physical Sciences Paper 2 had improved in KwaZulu-Natal, and marking errors identified for the Mathematical Literacy (Paper 1 and Paper 2) in the Western Cape had been communicated to markers in other provinces. The level of compliance to the verification of marking directives had led to issuing new directives, which would be monitored in 2021.

Dr Rakometsi defined the standardisation of results as the process used to eliminate the effect of factors that were not due to learners’ knowledge, abilities and aptitude that could affect the performance of the learner. The standardisation of results was applied to ensure that learners were not advantaged or disadvantaged by factors outside learners’ knowledge, abilities and aptitude, and also ensured that results were consistent and could be compared from one year to the next. He outlined the principles used in standardising results and the results that were currently being standardised by Umalusi. A comparison of the results standardised from 2018 to 2020 showed that the number of instructional offerings standardised had been 67 in both 2018 and 2019, but had been 65 in 2020.

Challenges observed during the NSC 2020 exams were the leakage of mathematics, physical sciences, business studies and life sciences Paper 2 components. Furthermore, some districts in some PEDs had administrated incorrect questions in the business studies Paper 2 to 74 candidates in Limpopo and life sciences Paper 2 to 74 candidates in North West. Also, wrong question papers/wrong versions of question papers were written at different levels of NSC exams. Group copying cases were reported in the Eastern Cape, Limpopo, KwaZulu-Natal, and Mpumalanga.

There was a need to codify and standardise South African Sign Language, as various dialects posed a lot of challenges for interpretation, to ensure that teachers offering the subject had appropriate qualifications, and to ensure earlier exposure of learners to the subject in schools.

Umalusi recommended that the DBE must tighten security around the printing, distribution and storage of question papers at all levels, and ensure that teachers were trained in the development of good quality assessment tasks and marking guidelines (rubrics). The Department must also ensure that there were effective remediation and feedback for the teachers and the learners, use assessment and examination data to improve teaching and learning, and intensify training of invigilators and strengthen monitoring of writing to ensure increased vigilance during the conduct, administration and management of examinations.

The Umalusi executive committee (EXCO), after studying the evidence presented on writing irregularities and leakages in two papers, had approved the NSC exams by stating that Umalusi was “satisfied that there were no systemic irregularities reported which might have compromised the overall credibility and integrity of the November 2020 National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations administered by the DBE.” Despite the approval of the results, Umalusi had requested that any candidate implicated in a further investigation would have his/her results blocked and the NSC certificate would be revoked.


Mr P Moroatshehla (ANC) appreciated on the work the DBE had put into the conduct of the 2020 NSC exams and the release of the results. He also appreciated the Umalusi Council on its report explaining how the quality of the results was assured. He asked the DBE what it felt had been the strengths and weaknesses of the class of 2020. Had there been any difference in the way Umalusi had assured the quality of the exams? Could the DBE have serviced the class of 2020 better? He asked Umalusi to state if the standardisation and moderation in teaching and learning had been different. What had been its view on the effect of COVID-19 on the class of 2020? What had been the effect of standardisation on the class of 2020 compared to 2019?

Ms D van Der Walt (DA) observed that the DBE was still challenged with providing sign language equipment to schools, and asked what it was doing to ensure that learners were exposed to the equipment needed for teaching and learning. Was it considering a review of the criteria used in measuring quintiles 1-5, as some of the criteria were no longer relevant? What measures was it taking to reduce drop-out rates? She asked the DBE to outline steps to reduce the age of male learners, because an average age above 19 was unsuitable, and to ensure that it implemented steps to curb NSC exam leakages. What would it do to ensure that the curriculum was completed in 2021, as oversight visits had indicated that despite catch-up mechanisms, the curriculum might not be completed?

Ms M Sukers (ACDP) appreciated Umalusi for providing recommendations that would ensure that the quality of NSC exams was upheld. She requested the DBE to give an update on the Malusi Secondary School learner who had been prevented from writing business studies paper 2 on November 25 2020 by an acting principal, which should include disciplinary action taken against the acting principal. She asked the Department to elaborate on the data that showed that more full-time learners wrote the 2020 NSC exams in a COVID-19 year, as opposed to a normal year. What efforts were they making to ensure that the students that could not write the 2020 NSC exams had an opportunity to re-write? Could they also elaborate on efforts to reduce drop-out rates? She asked the DG when the DBE would report on the assistance that was been given to assist the present Grade 12 students to ensure that they would be prepared for the 2021 NSC exams. She also asked the DBE to state the assistance it was giving to ensure that Western Cape Matric learners received vaccines.

Ms N Mashabela (EFF) asked the DBE to account for learners who had registered in 2009 for Grade one but could not write the NSC exams in 2020, stating what had contributed to the drop-out.

Mr E Siwela (ANC) acknowledged that a lot of learners had sat for the 2020 NSC exams. He asked if the DBE was set to achieve its Vision 2030 performance indices.

Mr S Ngcobo (IFP) asked Umalusi to state how difficult it had been to deal with the standardisation of results in 2020, and to state its confidence levels on the output of the 2020 NSC results.

Ms N Adoons (ANC) congratulated the DBE and Umalusi on the completion of the 2020 NSC exams, despite the concerns of parents over COVID-19. She also congratulated the Free State on the results, and encouraged learners from other provinces to improve their performance in the coming year. She observed that the pass rate of learners that matriculated showed improvements in the teaching and learning of Grade 10 and 11 learners. She appreciated Umalusi for the explanation it had given in its brief that outlined the principles used in upholding the quality of the NSC results. She congratulated learners that despite the challenges the 2020 NSC learners had shown improved capacity, potential and resilience.

The Chairperson joined Members in congratulating DBE and Umalusi for releasing results that were of a good standard. She appreciated Dr Poliah for his detailed presentation of the NSC results, and asked the Department to respond to questions on the percentage pass rate performance in the Western Cape. She also wanted to know how many learners had participated in the 2020 NSC exams, what steps the DBE was taking to reduce the low performance in key subjects like mathematics and physical sciences, and to clarify the view that there were no qualified teachers in mathematics and physics.

She asked Prof John Volmink and Mr Mweli to confirm if the Umalusi Council was comprised only of university experts, because some people questioned Umalusi’s decisions on learners, saying their decisions were biased because they were not in touch with the community.

She remarked that in the past, an issue had been raised of irregularity concerning students that had an undue advantage in NSC content subjects that were presented only in English and Afrikaans. She asked Umalusi to describe the measures it was undertaking to ensure that NSC exams were administered in other indigenous languages.

Umalusi and DBE responses



Prof John Volmink said that experts in educational administration were inducted as members of the Umalusi assessments council. He pointed out that many of the experts had served as teachers, and were experts that had knowledge in community issues. The new directive to codify and standardise South African Sign Language had been given because learners were been disadvantaged.

Dr Rakometsi said there was no difference between standardisation and moderation in teaching and learning. The process started with the schools, when the qualifications of teachers were screened before being appointed and it continued with learners. 2020 had been a challenging year because of COVID-19, and debates had been ongoing before the assessments were marked, but despite the COVID-19 issues, the curriculum was not reduced.

He agreed with Ms Van Der Walt’s statement that no paper should be leaked before it was written. The learner who was not allowed to write the business studies paper 2 on November 25 – this had been due to poor training on the part of the examiner.

Professionals had been relieved at the assessment of Umalusi on the 2020 NSC exams, and he echoed his confidence in the abilities of the seasoned experts who were members of the Umalusi assessment council. He indicated that DBE did not reduce any performance factors in the quality of learners, and the learners that had completed Matric in 2020 could represent South Africa globally.

In the Free State, from which he hailed, schools initially had child guidance specialists who were experts in psychology, and this had positively impacted in the NSC results in the Free State. There were plans to re-introduce this in schools that did not have them.

The Umalusi Council was comprised of experts and practitioners, and the Committee may recall that he had been a member of the Council before he was appointed as the DG of the DBE. The Council members were experts who conducted research on community education in South Africa, and they interacted with the community.

He agreed that learners would perform better if they were taught in the indigenous languages, and that learners’ pass rates would be higher if the NSC exams were administered in both the mother tongue and English.


Dr Poliah said the class of 2020 had enjoyed the introduction of the CAPS curriculum and the support on learner outcomes, and would have performed better than the class of 2019. Rural learners did not have internet connectivity, and had been disadvantaged with online learning. Learners would have been accommodated better with home learning if COVID -19 had been anticipated, and teachers were also not prepared for the impact of the pandemic.

He agreed that the DBE needed to upgrade sign language equipment in schools, and drop-out rates would be monitored closely.

Grade one learners included learners that repeated the class. The comparison of the over one million students who enrolled in Grade one with the number that completed NSC exams would tally with the number of learners at SC level and those who enrolled at colleges.

Internationally, South Africa had been recognised for the security of its exams, and in future the monitoring and vetting of NSC exams would increase.

The DBE would closely monitor Grade 11 learners who progressed to Grade 12 to ensure that disadvantaged Grade 11 learners were supported.

The DBE had indicated that concessions would be granted to the learner who did not write business studies paper 2 on November 25 2020 at Malusi Secondary School. The acting principal was undergoing disciplinary measures.

The reason for a higher number of learners writing was because more subjects were written.

Rural learners would be granted more concessions in the future.

He agreed that technical subject enrolment was low, but stated that more support was being granted to learners to move to the technical stream.

The introduction of an indigenous language was one of the key priorities of DBE and currently DBE was pioneering the use of IsiXhosa in Grades 10 and 11.

Mr Mweli appreciated the efforts of the Portfolio Committee on its oversight visits, but stated that the issue of the pass rate raised by the EFF and DA was politically motivated.

The drop-out rate was between 12 to 15%, and was due to the repetition across the grades. The rate was about 30% in Grade one. As indicated by Dr Poliah, some of the learners were admitted to colleges.

The model of fee and non-fee paying learners that the DBE had proposed was not implemented because National Treasury (NT) had not been able to release financial support. The NT had said that if the recommendations of the DBE on non-fee paying learners were implemented, it would be mandated to pay the fees for non-fee paying learners.

The Chairperson appreciated DBE and Umalusi for honouring its invitation.

Adoption of minutes

She asked Members to proceed on the next agenda which was the adoption of Minutes of 16 and 23 February 2021.

Mr Moroatshehla moved the motion to adopt the minutes as a true reflection of what transpired on 16 and 23 February 2020.

Ms N Adoons seconded.

The minutes of 16 and 23 February were adopted without any corrections.

The Chairperson remarked that the PC had two other meetings on Wednesday and Friday, and appealed to Members to be available for both meetings.

The meeting was adjourned.

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