The 81.3% 2019 national matric pass rate is the highest in democratic South Africa. Over 790 000  Grade 12 learners in public schools wrote the 2019 matric exams. That’s an improvement of 3.1% from the previous year’s 78.2%.

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga officially announced the matric results in Midrand, Johannesburg on Tuesday and said most of the top-performing districts were based in Gauteng.

The province achieved an 87.2% pass rate with a 0.7% decrease.

It has lost the top position to the Free State after being the best performing province in 2018.

The Free State has reclaimed its spot as the top-performing province when it comes to matric results. The province achieved an 88.4% pass rate with a 0.9% improvement, after losing the top spot to Gauteng in the 2018 matric results. The province previously occupied the first position in 2016 and 2017.

The North West is third with 86.8% with a 5.8% improvement.

Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi says despite being the only province with a decreased matric pass rate, he’s satisfied with the quality of the results.

“The only disturbing trend that we are seeing is that many students are leaving pure maths, choosing maths literacy and there, we have a serious, serious problem but generally, I think we have stabilised as Gauteng, our schools of specialisation are doing exceptionally well.”

“The twinning of schools have assistance. The schools that were struggling if you twin them, they perform very well. So it’s an exciting moment for Gauteng and we are thrilled. We really believe that we have done very well but we must thank the Free State and congratulate them as well.”

Rural schools

The Eastern Cape has reached a 76,5 % matric pass rate with an improvement of 5,9 %. Rural schools have improved their performance immensely despite many challenges ranging from poor infrastructure to shortage of scarce skilled teachers.

Nyanga High School in Ngcobo has produced quite impressive results. Nyanga High School principal Kulile Qamata says the school has done exceptionally well and all learners have shown dedication and zeal to achieve top-quality results.

“We had 154 learners who wrote and 147 passed so that gives us a pas rate of 95.4%. I am quite happy although I must say I am always worried about the 4.5% that did not make it. I think the learners have done well in terms of quality we have 88 Bachelors, 38 Diplomas, and 21 Higher Certificates so that talks to quality about 60% of our learners got Bachelors.”

Progressed learners

Motshekga says progressed learners do not have an impact on the overall matric pass rate. She has defended the decision to progress learners who attained a 30% pass rate.

Motshekga says there’s been an  8% increase in university passes.

“They constitute 0.02 – so continue hounding us about 30% even if we remove them they don’t impact on our results. Not at all, because they constitute 0.02% and it’s only 105 who have been passed with an endorsement but the majority of our learners almost 65% of our learners passed with bachelors and the diploma.”