South Africa’s Higher Education Minister says he’s concerned with the numbers which show that fewer matriculants achieved more than 40% for mathematics in the 2019 matric examinations.
A record 81.3% of matrics passed in 2019, with over 180,000 achieving bachelor passes.
However, Blade Nzimande said, fewer pupils would be allowed to study programmes in mathematics and science compared to the previous year.
Nzimande pointed out that most bachelor degree programmes that required mathematics would not accept candidates who achieved lower than 40%.
“The actual number who passed with 40% or above in mathematics was lower than the number in 2018. The number in 2018 was 86,874. In 2019, the number was 77,751, which means it’s a drop.”
The minister was speaking on the implications of matric results on the post-school education and training sector.
Analysing the application statistics, he noted that more students opted for universities rather than TVET colleges.
Statistics showed that 453 157 students preferred admission at universities, while 90 111 chose colleges, said Nzimande, adding that more than 212 000 returning university students have been declared eligible for funding from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) funding for the 2020 academic year.
NSFAS received more than 500 000 applications for the 2020 academic year.
Nzimande said applicants included those who were writing their 2019 NSC examinations, grades 10 and 11 pupils intending to further their studies at TVET colleges and returning pupils.
The student financial aid scheme has so far approved 430 000 applications, he said.