About 70.2% of matrics have passed last year’s exams – where the the Western Cape achieved the country’s top pass rate.
The overall pass rate was up from 67.8% in 2010, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga announced in Pretoria on Wednesday.
In 2009, 60.7% of matrics passed the exams, just under 2% down from 2008.
In 2008, 62.5% of matrics passed.
There were 496 090 full-time pupils whote wrote the 2011 National Senior Certificate – some 41 443 fewer than in 2011. There were about 80 000 part-time pupils who wrote the examinations.
Motshekga said that in 2011 there were no incidents, such as exam paper leaks, that had jeopardised the exams.
The Western Cape was the top province with a pass rate of 82.9% – up from 76.8% in 2010.
Gauteng was next with a pass rate of 81.1% followed by the Northwest Province with a 77.8% pass rate and the Free State with a 75.7% pass rate.
Motshekga was happy with the results, but said much still needed to be done to improve the maths pass rates.
The Democratic Alliance congratulated matrics especially those in the Western Cape who achieved a national high.
“Seven years of ANC government in the Western Cape saw a drop in the provincial pass rate of 11.6 percentage points, from 87.3% in 2003 to 75.7% in 2009,” basic education spokesperson Wilmot James said.
He said the DA’s first full year in government, in 2010, saw an improvement to 76.85.
“It shows that getting the basics right in education can improve our children’s education step by step,” he said.
James said government should ensure teachers were provided with adequate training, support and resources.