Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi has lauded the province’s 2017 matriculants who achieved a pass rate of 85.14%, a marginal improvement from the 85.12% that was achieved by the class of 2016.
Lesufi was speaking at a briefing on Friday morning at Nokuthula LSEN School, Lyndhurst, where he announced the 2017 matric examination results.
According to the department of basic education, 97 248 learners in Gauteng wrote the National Senior Certificate exams in 2017, of which 82 826 passed.
The learners that passed in Gauteng represent 20.6% of the total number of learners who passed nationally.
Lesufi said that the number of progressed learners who passed Grade 12 in the class of 2017 had increased compared with the previous year.
“I am happy to announce that 68.7% of the progressed learners who wrote have passed‚ compared with 61% in 2016. These are learners who would have had to repeat Grade 11 in 2017. This is an amazing feat‚” Lesufi said.
“What is even more amazing is the almost 7.3% of these learners who passed achieved a bachelor pass and more than 35.6% achieved a diploma pass.
“Had we not allowed the learners to progress to Grade 12‚ we would have killed their dreams‚” the MEC said referring to the 4 901 progressed learners who wrote the final exams.
He added that the progressed learners who failed their exams would be given further opportunities to complete their senior certificate.
Gauteng has produced the second highest number of candidates qualifying for bachelor studies, after KwaZulu-Natal, at 35 012 (36%). This is slightly down from the 36.2% of learners achieved in 2016.
Nationally, Gauteng has contributed 23% of the bachelor passes achieved.
More than 35.4% of learners (34 455) achieved a diploma pass.
Nearly 7.3% of progressed learners achieved a bachelor pass and more than 35.6% achieved a diploma pass.
Schools in the province that achieved the highest bachelor pass rate were Hoërskool Menlopark, Hoërskool Garsfontein and Hoërskool Waterkloof.
Lesufi added that 14 out of 15 districts performed above 80%, with one district achieving 75.43%.
The top seven districts in Gauteng also featured in the national top 10 districts.
In Tshwane North, the pass rate rose from 84.17% in 2016 to 88.94% in 2017.
Township schools achieved a pass rate of 90%, with 25 township schools attaining above 95%.
“I want to congratulate the principals [of these schools]. I am happy that [they] have come to join us here today. Our township schools have turned the corner. I’m excited when we have township schools performing nicely,” Lesufi said.
Also congratulating the national class of 2017 was the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) who, in a statement, wished the matriculants well.
“Today we celebrate together with all matriculants and congratulate our learners on a job well done. We salute them and wish them well in their future endeavours, whichever they may choose,” said IFP spokesperson on basic education Xolani Ngwezi.
“To those students who did not achieve the results they desired, we encourage you to sit the matric exams again this year. The doors to higher education are never closed to the dedicated mind. We wish all matriculants the very best of success. You are the future of South Africa, you are the business leaders of tomorrow,” Ngwezi concluded.
The Young Communist League of South Africa echoed similar sentiments, commending the class of 2017 on their “encouraging results”.
“We pass this message of congratulations fully aware that others, especially those from the deepest of our rural areas wrote these exams under difficult conditions and without proper infrastructure and still managed to pull through.
“We would also like to send a message of hope to those who did not make it not to give up and to make use of available rewrite opportunities.”