National pass rate of 76.5 per cent celebrated

In a statement, Schäfer said that while there is a tendency to focus exclusively on the provincial pass rate - which is an important indicator - other important indicators of success also needed to be taken into consideration to determine if the system is ultimately improving or where it needs to be improved.

Sponsors and government officials at the results ceremony for the National Senior Certificate examinations.

The candidates who wrote the exams had a 75.1% pass rate, while the "real" pass rate - the number of Grade 10s from 2015 who passed matric 2017 - was only 37.3%. "They have a minimum of 2 000 vacant positions which means teachers are not getting the required support, which means teachers are overworked, which means we've got overcrowded classes because the department has failed to fill those vacant positions", said Thompson, adding that once that is addressed the education system will upward results.

The total number of students who registered for the November 2017 NSC examinations is 802,431. Of these candidates, 534,484 full-time candidates, and 117,223 part-time candidates, wrote the 2017 NSC examinations.

"We wish to thank all provinces, especially Gauteng, Free State, Mpumalanga, and KwaZulu Natal for the extra support and pointed interventions they gave to these learners".

"If these provinces did not do this, some of the progressed young people, could have fallen through the cracks of the system, due to continuous repetition and ultimate drop-out from the system", Minister Motshekga said.

She also stressed the important role of the district's offices which are the key delivery vehicles nearest to schools.

Motshekga said it was encouraging that pupils that came from schools with little resources were able to produced impressive results.

A five year review by the Education Department show three schools in the district obtained a 100 percent pass rate five times in a row and these include Heidelberg High School, Oakdale Agricultural School in Riversdale and Shalom Academy in Ladismith.

"The WCED has counsellors available across the province should candidates need assistance", Schäfer said. This translates to nearly 45 Bachelor passes per 100 produced anywhere else in the country, she said.

It called for intervention from the province's governing party.

National Teachers Union deputy president, Allen Thompson, said the results were an indication that the system is starting to stabilise, but said the union was convinced that better results can still be achieved.

"South Africa is among the worst performers in terms of education internationally, having been placed last in Grade 8 Science and second-last place in Maths out of 39 countries for the Trends in International Maths and Science Study (TIMSS) 2015", she said.

"We have for the past few years included the learners with special education needs in tracking learner performance in the NSC".

A total of 5.6% achieved Bachelor passes; 25.2% achieved Diploma passes; 24.3% achieved Higher Certificate passes; and 10 achieved NSC passes.

  • Joey Payne