While Motshekga announced the matric pass rate for the class of 2018 was 78.2%, the Democratic Alliance has broken down the reality of South Africa\u2019s latest matric pass rate \u2013 showing that only 37.6% of learners who were in grade 10 in 2016 actually went on to pass matric in 2018.\n\n\n\nThe DA\u2019s shadow minister of education, Nomsa Marchesi, says learners who passed should be congratulated \u2013 but that it should not distract from the shocking truth facing the country. \u201cThe real matric pass rate is 37.6% if you include the number of 2016 Grade 10s who actually passed matric in 2018,\u201d she said.\n\n\n\nAccording to a report by BusinessTech.co.za the Free State and Gauteng education MECs were celebrating being the top two provinces in the department of education\u2019s reported data, but Marchesi said \u201cthis was a slap in the face to the learners they failed to serve along the way\u201d. \n\n\n\nIn Gauteng, 45% of its Grade 10s in 2016 didn\u2019t write matric, while the Free State has the highest drop out in the country and the province has \u201ca well-known reputation for \u2018culling\u2019, or intentionally keeping back learners to inflate pass marks\u201d. This was confirmed by a Deputy Director-General of the Department of Basic Education in 2017.\n\n\n\nMyBroadband.co.za also reports the matric pass rates should be much lower than reported. It says the \u201creal\u201d matric pass rate should take into account the total cohort of students who started school and would eventually become the matric class of 2018.\n\n\n\nLooking at the number of learners enrolled in Grade 1 in 2007 \u2013 the group which would reach matric in 2018 \u2013 the total was 1,002,500.\n\n\n\nWith 512,700 full-time learners writing matric in 2018, and then 78.2% of these students passing, the \u201creal\u201d matric pass rates comes in at around 40%.\n\n\n\nEqual Education also weighed in on the matter, stating that \u201clearning backlogs that develop and deepen in the early years of schooling\u201d are a major contributor to learners dropping out.\n\n\n\n\u201cKeeping learners in school and ensuring that they leave school with a meaningful qualification remains one of the key challenges in South Africa\u2019s public education system,\u201d it said.\n\n\n\n\u201cParticularly concerning is that approximately 12% of young people still do not even complete Grade 9.\u201d\n\n\n\nIt is for this reason that Equal Education said the \u201cthroughput rate\u201d of learners to matric must be considered alongside the matric pass rate.