Home Articles Is The Matric Qualification Comparable To International Examinations?

Is The Matric Qualification Comparable To International Examinations?


Is The Matric Qualification Comparable To International Examinations? South Africa has an extremely high youth unemployment rate, with two out of every three youth finding themselves without work. However, the education quality assurance body says the cause of the alarming unemployment rate cannot be attributed to the country’s school leaving qualification.

The National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations are less than a month away. Grade 12 learners around the country will be preparing themselves for the critical examinations in the hope of achieving good results.

The NSC represents the culmination of 12 years of learning and assessments for learners, and the results achieved in these examinations could influence their career choices after school.

Even if learners do obtain their NSC qualification, their chances of employment remain low. This as seven of every ten young people (including NSC qualifications and university qualification) are unemployed.

This was noted by members of the parliamentary committee on education who are concerned with the low number of learners who are progressing through the education system. This as they said not enough learners are obtaining results which could satisfy the qualification criteria to access tertiary education.

Members questioned whether the NSC’s purported lack of depth and breath is a contributing factor to learners’ poor adaptation at the tertiary education level.

Chief Executive Officer of Umalusi, Mafu Rakometsi believes that the high unemployment rate cannot be attributed to the NSC qualification but rather the choices individuals make when choosing a career path to follow.

He explained that the NSC qualification is not only intended for university entrance but prepares learners for the world of work and good citizenry.

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Rakometsi pointed to the critical skills list which indicates what skills are in demand in the South African economy. By aligning their career path with the scarce skills required by the country’s economy, learners may stand a better chance of securing employment when they finish school.

These remarks came as Umalusi released their latest report titled “International Benchmarking of the National Senior Certificate (NSC)”. The report aimed to determine the standards, credibility and international comparability of the NSC to similar qualifications.

The NSC was evaluated against the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IB DP), the Kenyan Certificate of Secondary Education, the New South Wales (NSW) Higher School Certificate (HSC), the Zimbabwean Forms 5-6 advanced level, and the Cambridge Assessment International Education AS & A Levels.

The findings of the report indicated that the NSC has demonstrable lines of comparability with upper secondary qualifications. The report further stated that the NSC is the strictest regarding prescribing what is taught, in what sequence, and within exactly what time frame

Biki Lepota, Umalusi’s Senior Manager for Statistical Information and Research emphasised that the report aims to establish comparability and not equivalence.

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