The matric pass rate is up to 78.2%, from 73.9% last year, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has announced.
An excited Motshekga said she was pleased by the results because when she took over the department almost five years ago she had aimed to increase it from 62% to 75%.
Motshekga said splitting the former Department of Education into two, creating the Department of Basic Education and the Department of Higher Education and Training, was the best decision that President Jacob Zuma’s administration had made.
“This decision remains one of the key legacies of the current administration as it also affirmed education as priority number one of government.”
Of the pass rate, she said: “This is an increase of 4.3 percentage points on the 2012 results (73.9%). This is also an increase of 17.6 percentage points since 2009 (60.6%)….When we came into office, we had targeted 75% by 2014. Now we have surpassed our target with a year to go. Well done to the class of 2013.”
Despite education policy analysts such as professors Adam Habib, Jonathan Jansen and Graeme Bloch questioning the quality of the National Senior Certificate, Motshekga said she was pleased.
“I’m extremely pleased by the fact that all indicators of quality are also part of the upward trend. For example with bachelor passes, the percentage of Grade 12s who qualified for bachelor’s studies was 20.1% in 2008, 19.9% in 2009, 23.5% in 2010, 25.3% in 2011 and 26.6% in 2012. It has now increased to 30.6%.
About 551 schools achieved a 100% rate while nine achieved a 0% pass rate. Of the nine, three were independent schools. In 2013, Motshekga said 67 855 distinctions were achieved, compared to 55 650 last year.
In critical subjects such as maths and science, the pass rate has increased too, Motshekga said. “The pass rate for maths is 59.1% in 2013. This is an improvement from the 54% in 2012. The pass rate for physical science is 67.4%, from 61.3% in 2012.”
“I congratulate the class of 2013 for being the best class since the advent of democracy, and I encourage every learner to go further than their predecessors and strive to excel in higher education, the workplace and in your general contributions as South African citizens.”
Free State is the top performing province. The province has achieved 87.4%, up from 81.1% last year;
North West scored 87.2%, up from 79.5% last year;
Gauteng achieved 87%, up from 83.9% last year;
The Western Cape managed 85.1%, up from 82.8% last year;
Mpumalanga bagged 77.6%, from 70% last year;
KwaZulu Natal is up to 77.7%, from 73.1% last year;
The Northern Cape is down to 74.5%, from 74.6% last year;
Limpopo is up to 71.8%, from 66.9% last year;
The Eastern Cape is up to 64.9%, from 61.4% last year.