Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga says the public education system is beginning to reach the desired stability after the matric class of 2019 achieved an improved 81.3% pass rate."There is no doubt that the system is beginning to reach the desired stability, which is healthy for a large system as large and important as ours," Motshekga told a room full of stakeholders at the official announcement of results in Midrand on Tuesday.READ: Matric results | 81.3% of pupils pass 2019 NSC exams, Free State tops provinces "The public system in South Africa continues to enjoy the confidence of our people; and thus, we have to give our best at all times," she said.The 12th cohort to sit for the 2019 National Senior Certificate (NSC) made a slight improvement from their 2018 counterparts - a 78.2% pass rate. Matric ResultsGet your matric results and the latest news from News24.This public-school system Motshekga speaks of sees South Africans send about 96% (12.8 million) of the country's children for an education.In addition, according to the Department of Basic Education, the 2019 NSC exams accounted for 98% of the 803 035 candidates who sat for the 2019 matric exams in the country (including IEB and SACAI candidates).The NSC exams itself saw 788 717 candidates register to write, comprising full-time and part-time pupils.Of that, 504 303 full-time and 106 385 part-time candidates sat for all seven subjects, writing 147 question papers at 6 870 examination centres nationwide."It is a very important milestone for a system as diverse, large and challenging to have surpassed the 80% glass ceiling - the first time in the history of our country. This is a humbling, heartwarming and encouraging achievement," Motshekga said.With a ground breaking 81.3% pass rate for the class of 2019 the Minister calls on the sector to put all hands on deck for 2020, “let’s stick to the 80% and ramp up the system at all levels.” #MatricResults2019 #MatricResults #MatricResults19 pic.twitter.com/BBSz6ILMAF— SA Gov News (@SAgovnews) January 7, 2020 The proud minister added that to maintain, or even exceed this pass mark, would definitely be a "tall order"."For the past 10 years, we have noted that the NSC pass rate has consistently been going up from 60% in 2009 to above 70% in recent years. The class of 2019 must be commended for maintaining this trend," she said.Motshekga further clarified the much-debated Grade 9 certificate was "not an exit pass" but merely a standardised certificate that a pupil would be able to receive once they get to that grade.@DBE_SA Minister addresses the issue of the General Education Certificate(GEC) which caused an uproar late last year.Minister clarifies that GEC is not an exit certificate but rather enables learners to choose different pathways in the system #MatricResults2019 #MatricResults19 pic.twitter.com/RH7jvIP1dT— SA Gov News (@SAgovnews) January 7, 2020 The 81.3% pass rate represents 409 906 full-time candidates who passed the 2019 NSC examinations.Pupils and parents were cautioned that due to load shedding scheduled for between 01:00 and 06:00 on Wednesday, the much-anticipated results would be available from 12:00 until 01:00 and then from 06:00.