Western Cape Premier Helen Zille today addressed the province’s Matric Awards Ceremony, held annually at Leeuwenhof, Cape Town.
The Province again achieved a pass rate in excess of 80%, with 82.8% of learners in the Western Cape passing the 2017 National Senior Certificate examination.
The Province is also top in the country in terms of the ‘real matric pass rate’. A total of 64.3% learners were retained in the system between Grade 10 and the National Senior Certificate Exam. This is 12.8 percentage points higher than the next province, Gauteng, and 22 percentage points higher than the Free State, which had the lowest retention rate in the country.
“We have always placed a big emphasis on indicators showing quality education – beyond the matric pass rate league table. The Western Cape again achieved the highest percentage of bachelor’s passes in the country (39.1%), the highest maths pass rate (73.9%) and a physical science pass rate consistent with previous years (74%),” said Premier Zille.
The Premier also congratulated the Western Cape learners who took the top two spots country-wide - Janke Van Dyk from Bellville High School, who was SA’s top achiever, and Matthys Carstens from Durbanville High School, was placed second.
Premier Zille also made special mention of Brenda Nyarudzu, from Ilingelethu Secondary School in the West Coast District.
“Her mother passed away when Brenda was in Grade 11, and her father struggled financially to provide a conducive space for Brenda to study for exams. With the help of our district and circuit offices, Brenda achieved a slew of distinctions, finishing 1st overall in her school. This is just one example of a broader effort to keep learners in school, helping them to succeed rather than drop out.”
The Premier concluded her address with a commitment to spending the rest of her time in office focusing on the advancement of quality education.
“Education is the foundation on which South Africa will exceed, and that is what we work on every single day. It takes good leadership, good middle management, involved parents, and structures and systems of discipline that enable learning. How to instil this in all schools that lack it, is a formula we have not yet cracked. I have 18 months left in Premiership, and if there’s one thing I do, it will be to continue working on cracking that conundrum,” said Zille.
The Western Cape Education Department conducts an extensive analysis of matric results each year. Marks are analysed from subject level down to topics. Tailored teacher training and learning programmes are then targeted to each school.
The Province is also currently rolling out an unprecedented eLearning programme, to bring technology and new teaching methods to classrooms across the Western Cape.