NC pupils break 80% matric pass rate

MEC Martha Bartlett and Premier Sylvia Lucas with top pupils Ermelo Duister from Northern Cape High, centre, Danique Visser from Hartswater High and Thapelo Molelekwa from Kimberley Boys High.

The provincial department of education commended the matric class of 2016 for breaking the 80% pass rate for the first time in 10 years.

With its 82.2% pass rate, the Northern Cape obtained fifth place in the country and a high number of pupils came from the Namakwa area. In 2015, the province scored 69.4%.

Education MEC Martha Bartlett said her department would ensure the pass rate increases this year and they will be working with all stakeholders to make schools accessible to all pupils.

“We will continue our intervention to further improve the pass rate of progressed pupils,” Bartlett said.

“The Northern Cape 2016 national senior curriculum results have recorded the highest improvement since the past ten years.” She said the department was happy that about 20 schools obtained a 100% pass rate compared to just 9 schools in 2015.

She said the improvement was due to the dedication of all stakeholders, pupils, teachers and community at large by making education its top priority. “Umalusi found that we have a sound schooling system in place and the whole examination process was conducted with integrity,” Bartlett said.

She said they also wanted to commend pupils who worked tirelessly to ensure they did not cheat in their examinations, taking from the pledge they signed prior to the exams.

She said the department noted the improved performance in mathematics and physical sciences but more attention would be placed on underperforming schools. “For 2016, we have managed to reduce the number of underperforming schools, which have recorded a pass rate of below 60%, in our province from 39 to 20.

“Our intervention to underperforming schools as well as unannounced visits will continue to further reduce the number of underperforming schools,” she said.

Bartlett also announced that all districts obtained a pass rate of more than 70%, which contributed significantly to the improvement of the provincial pass rate.

Diamantveld High School in the Frances Baard district obtained first place followed by Kimberley Girls and Upington High.

Barlett also said the department would provide support to pupils who did not make it during the examinations.

“I want to call on everyone to re-dedicate ourselves to the strenuous tasks that lie ahead of us in 2017,” she said.

The MEC said it was all systems go for the 2017 academic year as they have managed to ensure school materials were in place and pupils were placed across the province.