The 2016 national matric pass rate rose to 72.5%, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said yesterday.
Announcing the class of 2016 results in Midrand, Motshekga stressed the importance of improving the quality of teaching and learning at foundation level. She said the main purpose of the Grade 12 exams was to provide pupils with an exit qualification.
“We have prioritised early grade literacy … we have to improve the quality of education well before Grade 12,” she said.
Commenting on the leaked maths paper in Limpopo, Motshekga said the results of implicated candidates would remain blocked. Regarding progressed pupils, Motshekga said had they not received additional support from the department, they would have dropped out of school by now.
A total of 67 510 progressed candidates wrote the requisite seven subjects during the 2016 National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations: 29 384 passed, 3 335 obtained Bachelor passes; 12 636 Diploma passes; and 13 385 Higher Certificate passes. Commenting on the districts, Motshekga said 67 out of 81 attained passes of more than 90%.
In Limpopo, Vhembe districts achieved the most passes, while in Gauteng it was the south west district. The highest performing district in the country was Overberg in the Western Cape, followed by Gariep in the Free State.
The 2015 matric pass rate dropped to 70.7%. This was down from 75.8% achieved in 2014.
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The minister thanked all the teachers who had been working around the clock to ensure that the education system improves. She admitted though that a lot of work still needed to be done to improve the quality of education.
Deputy Minister Enver Surty spoke about the work the department had been doing in ensuring that many pupils had access to school, saying 242 schools were currently under construction.
Nkosipendule Ntantala, the newly elected president of the National Professional Teachers’ Organisation of South Africa, commenting on the results of the 2016 NSC, commended the department on its management of the exams, involving about 800 000 candidates.
But Ntantala expressed concern over the continued crisis in Limpopo, which includes the Vuwani tragedy, exam question paper leaks, and group copying. The SA Democratic Teachers’ Union said, while welcoming the results, said a lot of work ranging from administrative issues and support for teaching and learning still had to be done.