The National Senior Certificate (NSC) results are an important milestone in the lives of all learners who pass well. They now have to make critical choices about the careers they wish to follow. For many among them, their choices could have been different if the education system was functioning optimally. An education system has different components and dimensions. No single performance metric will be able to provide a comprehensive understanding of how the system works and where the faultlines are. A critical understanding of the efficiency of any system involves measuring changes that occur to any inputs while in the system and the quality of the outcomes. The current focus on the final NSC matric results is misleading and opportunistic, unless we also pay attention to the throughput rate of the system between Grades 10 and 12. When pupils register for Grade 10, they register their intent to sit for the final NSC examinations two years down the line. A true measure of the efficien...

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