Despite a 78.2% matric pass rate, the ‘Rubicon has not been crossed’ concedes minister

Angie Motshekga during a breakfast meeting with some of the top matric achievers from the class of 2018. Picture: Tebogo Letsie
Angie Motshekga during a breakfast meeting with some of the top matric achievers from the class of 2018. Picture: Tebogo Letsie

The matric class of 2018 achieved a 78.2% pass rate, an increase from last year’s 75.1%.

The 78.2% pass rate is inclusive of progressed learners. Without progressed learners, the pass rate increases to 79.4%. In 2015 the department adopted a policy decision to promote to matric all pupils who failed grade 11.

South Africa’s nine provinces achieved the following pass rates:

Gauteng: 87.9%

Free State: 87.5%

Western Cape: 81.5%

North West: 81.1%

Mpumalanga: 79%

KwaZulu Natal: 76.2%

Northern Cape: 73:3%

Eastern Cape: 70.6%

Limpopo: 69.4%

Announcing the results at the Vodacom Events Centre in Midrand, basic education minister, Angie Motshekga, said: “We will be the first to concede, that despite the notable stability and improvements in the system, we are yet to cross our own Rubicon. We must agree that much has been achieved, but much more is yet to be done in the areas of efficiency and quality.”

Motshekga said what made her happy is that the general improvement in education outcomes at grade 12 was a manifestation of improvements occurring at all the levels of the entire schooling system.

“In celebrating the class of 2018, I must also thank the principals, teachers and parents for the work they continue to do. I also wish to take this opportunity to thank the [parliamentary] portfolio and select committees responsible for basic education.”

She also thanked business partners such as unions and governing body associations.

Motshekga said she was particularly pleased that pupils from no-fee schools, progressed learners, social grant beneficiaries, learners with special needs and prisoners performed “exceptionally well”. This, she said, was due to the ANC government’s transformative policies which were bearing fruit.

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