President Cyril Ramaphosa has congratulated the matric class of 2018 for keeping the pass rate above 70%.
On Thursday evening Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga announced that the overall 2018 pass rate, with progressed pupils included, stands at 78.2%. This was a 3.1 percentage point improvement from the 75.1% achieved in 2017.
When progressed pupils are excluded, the overall pass rate stands at 79.4%. This is a 2.9 percentage point increase from the 76.5% achieved in 2017.
“As South Africans, we can all take pride in the dedication shown by learners and educators. Together, they have presented our nation with another cohort of young people whose life chances have been significantly enhanced, and whose success in basic education is indeed reversing the damage inflicted on generations of South Africans who were deprived of quality education under apartheid,” said Ramaphosa.
The total number of candidates who registered for the November 2018 NSC examinations was 790 843, comprising 624 733 full-time candidates and 176 110 part-time candidates. About 46.2% of these candidates were 16 to 20-year-old females; and 34% of 16 to 20-year-old males.
“Also, important to note, is the fact that 8.8% of the girls and 10.6% of the boys who sat for the 2018 NSC examination were 21-26 years of age – a clear indication of multiple attempts at achieving a National Senior Certificate,” Motshekga said.
In terms of a breakdown of provinces, Gauteng led the pack with the highest pass rate for 2018 at 87.9%, followed by Free State with 87.5%, Western Cape 81.5%, North West 81.1%, Mpumalanga 79%, KwaZulu-Natal 76.2%, Northern Cape 73.3% Eastern Cape 70.6% and the lowest performing province was Limpopo with 69.4%.
Ramaphosa said the class of 2018 was the fourth largest group in the history of basic education to register for an NSC examination. He said this illustrated the impact of government’s support to poor pupils and their families.
“This support spans pro-poor funding of schools; the provision of nutritious meals on a daily basis; and the provision of scholar transport to deserving learners on daily basis.
“These interventions have led to increased levels of retention of learners and enabled their success in the National Senior Certificate examinations,” the president said.
Ramaphosa also encouraged pupils who did not pass to make use of “second chance” programmes.