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President Cyril Ramaphosa lauds historic matric pass rate

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President Cyril Ramaphosa has hailed the 81,3% matric pass rate; the highest since the advent of democracy in 1994. This is the first time the combined matric pass rate has breached the 80% threshold.

“These results are a triumph and a clear signal that government’s substantial investment in education, in pupil and teacher support and in educational infrastructure is yielding results,” President Ramaphosa said.

Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga announced on Tuesday, 7 January 2020, that 787 717 candidates sat for the 2019 National Senior Certificate Examinations countrywide. 

The 2019 pass rate represents a 3,1% improvement from 2018 when the national pass rate stood at 78,2%.

“South Africans can be proud that education, like most aspects of our nation’s development, is on an upward trajectory which should inspire all of us to work together to accelerate and maintain excellence,” the President said.

“There has also been an increase in the number of female learners achieving bachelor’s passes, the Eastern Cape recorded the highest improvement in the matric pass rate, and not one of the country’s 75 districts performed below 60% - these are stellar achievements,” President Ramaphosa added.

The President noted that the increase in the matric pass rate in quintile one, two and three schools was indicative that the divide between so-called ‘rich’ schools and poorer schools was steadily narrowing.

In announcing the results Minister Motshekga pointed to the increase in specialised schools offering subjects like agricultural studies and maritime studies as well as the introduction of subjects such as entrepreneurship into the national curriculum.

“These are critical subjects that will enable us to meet the needs of our economy and prepare our young people for the workplace of the future: in this regard the Class of 2019 are pioneers,” President Ramaphosa said.

President Ramaphosa has encouraged successful matriculants to take advantage of the diverse opportunities on offer in the higher education system as well as programmes for the development of entrepreneurship and self-employment.

“To the Class of 2019, you have done yourselves proud and returned the investment made in you by your families, teachers, communities and mentors,” President Ramaphosa said.

The President has encouraged candidates who did not attain the Senior Certificate to use the Department of Basic Education’s Second Chance programme.

“Do not be discouraged, but courageously persevere towards your goals, “President Ramaphosa said; adding that government would continue to provide support to learners to complete their education as well as to address weaknesses in the system that result in high numbers of learners who enter the education system in Grade 1 not completing their schooling.

The President has urged learners across all grades to embrace learning as a lifelong and pleasurable pursuit that not only adds economic value and enhances employability, but enhances people’s outlook on life and their contribution to society beyond the world of work.

Media enquiries: Khusela Diko, Spokesperson to the President on 072 854 5707

Issued by: The Presidency