Gauteng becomes top matric province
Johannesburg - For the first time ever Gauteng was the top performing province with the highest matric pass rate in the country, education MEC Barbara Creecy said on Thursday.
The pass rate in the province was 78.6% for 2010, up from 71.6% in 2009.
"This means that we are only 1.4% short of our 2014 target of an 80% pass rate," she said as the audience at the Wits Linder Auditorium cheered and applauded.
"We do indeed have a great deal to celebrate today (on Thursday)."
Creecy said 15 districts achieved a pass rate of 80% or more, with the best being Tshwane North, Tshwane West, Ekurhuleni North, Tshwane South and Sedibeng East.
Gauteng's top performing matric pupil achieved nine distinctions, the MEC said.
Alexander Gerhard Johannes from Pretoria Boys High had a total point score of 1 720.
Johannes, 19, said the secret to his success was hard work, perseverance and paying attention in class.
He said he would not be studying this year but would be going to Germany to work in a guest house and would return to South Africa next year to start a chemical engineering degree at the University of Pretoria.
The MEC said 20 pupils in Gauteng obtained 100% in maths and 13 pupils achieved full marks in physical science.
"We implemented our revised maths, science, and technology strategy during 2010," Creecy said.
"These impressive results indicate that this strategy is indeed beginning to bear fruit."
A top maths student, Thabang Malatjie from Makgetse High School in Hammanskraal, would enrol in mechanical engineering at the University of Pretoria.
He said he was very excited about the next chapter in his life.
Malatjie achieved his distinction by spending about six hours a day focusing on maths.
Top physical science and maths student Patrick Maloma from Ponelopele Oracle Secondary School, who achieved 100% in both subjects, would enrol for Actuarial Science at Wits University.
"I'm very excited. I didn't actually expect such high marks," he said.
The top achiever in the province from Learners with Special Education Needs was Pieter Daniel Grobler from Protea School, with three distinctions.
Creecy said of the 78.6% who passed matric, 43% obtained a Bachelors pass.
She announced that all top achievers would receive a Gauteng government bursary to a university of their choice worth R40 000.
"It is a priority of this government to improve on the quality of basic education.
"We are happy that the results we are announcing today (on Thursday) indicate that we are also on track to achieving this important objective (of an 80% pass rate)," she said.
The MEC announced that the top five best performing schools in the province were Hoërskool Waterkloof, Hoërskool Menlopark, Hoërskool Garsfontein, Hoërskool Eldoraigne and Afrikaanse Hoër Meisieskool.
The best performing Learners with Special Education Needs schools were Protea School, Prestasie Skool and Filadelfia.
Gauteng achieved a total of 36 548 distinctions.
There were 2 598 distinctions in maths, 3 513 in maths literacy, 1 580 in physical science, 1 284 in accountancy, 1 668 in life sciences and 716 in English first additional language.
In a message to those matrics who did not pass or were unhappy with their results Creecy said they should remember that "this was not the end of the world".
She said there would be an opportunity for those students to write supplementary exams in February or re-sit the exams at the end of the year.
Creecy said credit for the province's achievements had to go the matric class of 2010.
"Learners surmounted great challenges to achieve these excellent results.
"Our overall performance is particularly gratifying considering the long break during the World Cup and the disruption to learning and teaching during the public sector strike," she said.
The 2010 matric "victory" was an important step forward on achieving quality basic education and the province would continue to work together to make 2011 an even better year for education, Creecy said.