Jan 3, 2019Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, on Thursday delivered some good news for Eastern Cape while announcing the 2018 Matric Results at an event held at the Vodacom Dome, Noordwyk, in Midrand.For the first time in so many years, the Eastern Cape is not at the bottom of the class after registering a achieved 70.6% matric pass rate, an improvement of 5.6% from 2017 – the largest improvement in the country.”We must applaud the Eastern Cape for joining the 70% performance club, which includes the Northern Cape, KwaZulu Natal and Mpumalanga,” said Motshekga. “The Eastern Cape had the largest performance improvement, while Mpumalanga and Limpopo had the second and third largest performance improvements, respectively. “Clearly, the learner support programmes and interventions these three provinces have implemented, are beginning to bear good fruit.”Eastern Cape matric results 2018She added; “I must particularly single out the Eastern Cape. “Despite the challenges they are faced with, especially the contestations related to the rationalisation of small and unviable schools, under the leadership of MEC Mandla Makupula (may his dear soul rest in peace).”The Eastern Cape has now taken off, and should continue on this trajectory. It is about to reach its cruising height. “I wish to encourage the executive and administrative leadership of the Eastern Cape, to keep the fires burning, in memory of MEC Makupula’s unobliterable and unforgettable legacy.”She also commended the North West, Western Cape, Free State and Gauteng for maintaining their 80% performance status. “It must be noted the Gauteng has raised the bar in almost all applicable performance indicators, except for their performance with the progressed learners excluded, the number and percentage of passes with distinctions, and the performance of learners with special educational needs.”The achievement was also not lost on social media users, who expressed their surprise at the 2018 Matric Results for the province and congratulated it on the achievement.2018 Matric Results Motshekga said that the Class of 2018, which is the fifth cohort to be exposed to the CAPS curriculum, has recorded the fourth highest enrolment of full-time candidates, and thehighest for the part-time candidates in the history of the Basic Education system in South Africa.”The total number of candidates, who registered for the November 2018 NSC examinations was approximately 800 800, comprising about 625 000 full-time candidates and 176 000 part-time candidates,” she added.”Of these candidates, approximately 512 700 full-time candidates, and 117 660 part-time candidates actually wroteall seven subjects of the 2018 NSC examinations. It is noteworthy that KwaZulu Natal, Gauteng, Limpopo and the Eastern Cape registered the highest numbers of full-time and part-time candidates.”The scope and size of the 2018 NSC examinations, is massive. For instance, 147 question papers were set; 8 million question papers were printed; 7.6 million scripts were produced and delivered countrywide; about 7 000 secure examination centres were established; 65 000 invigilators, and 41 000 markers were appointed in 141 secure marking centres.”The Class of 2018 is the first to be introduced to twelve (12) new subject offerings, comprising –the South African Sign Language (Home Language); as well asCivil Technologies, Mechanical Technologies, and Electrical Technologies – each with three subjects; as well as Technical Mathematics and Technical Science.Performance of the progressed learnersThe Minister said that the criteria for learner progression introduced in 2015, were further streamlined in 2017. “The South African public will recall the learner progression policy, encouraged provinces to progress or condone over-aged learners who have repeated Grade 11 more than once, and give them extra support to either write all seven subjects of the 2018 NSC examinations; or allow them to modularise their examinations,” she described. “In the latter case, progressed learners could write part of the 2018 NSC examinations in November 2018, and the rest in June 2019.”The support provided to progressed learners by provinces is important, particularly for learners who come from poorer communities. “Provinces go out of their way to provide progressed learners with extra support; and this, provinces do without any additional budget. Consequently, in 2018 we saw the largest number of progressed learners, since the policy was promulgated in 2015.”Motshekga said that this is a step in the right direction in the context of the National Development Plan, which enjoins us to mediate the high drop-out and repetition rates of learners in the Basic Education system. “The NDP demands of us to maintain a retention rate of 90%, and to allow for an increase in the number of learners entering vocational and occupational pathways. The Second Chance Matric Programme, the Learner Progression Policy, the Incremental Introduction of the Three-Stream Model, and the Multiple Examinations Opportunity (MEO) are means towards an end to address this NDP directive,” she noted.”We wish to thank all provinces that invested a lot of effort in supporting progressed and struggling learners. Hence, Gauteng’s progressed learners passed at70.3%; Free State’s progressed learners passed at 65.2%; Mpumalanga’s progressed learners passed at 64.7%; KwaZulu Natal’s progressed learners passed at63.4%; North West’s progressed learners passed at 56.9%; the Eastern Cape’s progressed learners passed at 56.5%; the Northern Cape’s progressed learners passed at 40.2%; and the Western Cape’s progressed learners passed at 33.6%.”We are convinced that, had the provinces not provided the ‘package of support and interventions’ they provided to the progressed learners, some of our young people could have fallen through the cracks of the system. It is for this reason that we continue to encourage provinces to support struggling learners, not only during their Matric years, but right through the system. “This will definitely improve the through-put and retention of learners, especially in the Senior and FET Phases, where we experience high failure and drop-out rates.”2018 Matric Results for learners with Special Education NeedsThe Minister said that her Department strongly believe that an Inclusive Education system, makes an immense contribution towards an inclusive economy, to serve an inclusive society. “We have for the past few years included the learners with special educational needs in tracking learner performance in the NSC Examinations,” Motshekga said.”I am happy to announce that 3 856 learners with special educational needs wrote the 2017 NSC examinations, an increase of 39.9% from 2017; and 3 051 learners with special educational needs passed the examinations. 1 669 achieved Bachelor passes; 861 Diploma passes; 402 Higher Certificate passes; and 199 endorsed NSC passes. “Learners with special educational needs also attained 1 927 distinctions, including in critical subjects, such as Accounting, Business Studies, Economics, Mathematics and Physical Science.”The benefits of the “pro-poor” policies of Government on the Grade 12 examination resultsShe said that in the 2018 NSC examination results, the poverty ranking of schools in terms quintiles 1 to 5, revealed the following interesting trends.”I will however, focus on the performance of quintile 1 to 3 schools, the ‘no fee’ schools. The total number NSC passes in ‘no fee’ schools, stands at 241 340.”Motshekga said that the Bachelor passes achieved by learners in ‘no fee’ schools stand at 84 700; which implies that in 2018, “no fee” schools produced 53% of the Bachelor passes. “The significance of this is that, in 2018, the Bachelor passes produced by ‘no fee’ schools has significantly and progressively increased to 6% from 2016. ‘No fee’ schools also produced 91 400 Diploma, and 65 130 Higher Certificate passes. It is noteworthy that more than 55 000 candidates from ‘no fee’ schools are eligible to register for Bachelor and Diploma studies at higher education institutions.”2018 Matric Results by DistrictThe NDP recognises districts as a crucial interface of the Basic Education Sector in identifying best practice, sharing information, and providing support to schools. “The continued growth in the performance of districts is closely monitored and evaluated by both the provincial and national Basic Education departments,” Motshekga said. “In 2018,74 of the 75 districts (98.7% of our districts) attained pass rates of 60% and above; and 34 of the 75 districts (45.3% of our districts) attained pass rates of 80% and above. Regrettably, one district in the Eastern Cape, achieved a pass rate lower than 60%.”The top ten (10) performing districts in the country are as follows –First, is Fezile Dabi in the Free State, with 92.3%;Second, is Tshwane South in Gauteng, with 91.7%;Third, is Johannesburg East in Gauteng, with 90.3%;Fourth, is Sedibeng East in Gauteng, with 90.2%;Fifth, is Johannesburg West in Gauteng, with 90.1%;Sixth, is Thabo Mafutsanyana in the Free State, with 90%;Seventh, is Tshwane North in Gauteng, with 89.6%;Eighth, is Gauteng West in Gauteng, with 89.1%;Ninth, is Ekurhuleni North in Gauteng, with 88.8%; andTenth, is Johannesburg North in Gauteng, with 88.6%.”Fellow South Africans, it is unprecedented that the ten top performing districts in the country, are from two provinces,” Motshekga noted. “It is for the first time that four of the top ten performing districts performed above 85%; and six of the top ten districts broke the 90% glass ceiling. Notably, out of the top ten performing districts in the country,eight are from Gauteng, and two are from the Free State. We must congratulate the Free State and Gauteng – this is remarkable!”The top performing districts in their respective provinces, are as follows –First, is Fezile Dabi in the Free State, with 92.3%;Second, is Tshwane South in Gauteng, with 91.7%;Third, is Metro North in the Western Cape, with 85.1%;Fourth, is Bojanala Platinum in the North West, with 84.4%;Fifth, is Namaqua in the Northern Cape, with 83.7%;Sixth, is Ehlanzeni in Mpumalanga, with 82.3%;Seventh, is Amajuba, in KwaZulu Natal, with 81.7%;Eighth, is Vhembe East in Limpopo , with 80.1%; andNinth, is Nelson Mandela in the Eastern Cape, with 76.1%;Performance of the ProvincesOnly one province achieved below the 70% threshold, namely Limpopo, which achieved 69.4%, an improvement of 3.8% from 2017 – the third highest improvement;Four provinces achieved above 70%, and these are –Eastern Cape achieved 70.6%, an improvement of 5.6% from 2017 – the largest improvement in the country;Northern Cape achieved 73.3%, a decline of 2.3% from 2017;KwaZulu-Natal achieved 76.2%, an improvement of 3.3% from 2017; andMpumalanga achieved 79%, an improvement of 4.2% from 2017 – the second highest improvement.Four provinces achieved above 80% –North West achieved 81.1%, an improvement of 1.7% from 2017;Western Cape achieved 81.5%, a decline of 1.3% from 2017;Free State, achieved 87.5%, an improvement of 1.4% from 2017.The top performing province for 2018, is Gauteng, with an achievement of 87.9%, an improvement of 2.8% from 2017.With the exception of Limpopo, all the other provinces achieved above the 70% pass rate. All the provinces, including Limpopo, have shown improvements in their performances, except for the Northern Cape and the Western Cape. “We wish to implore the communities of the Northern Cape to desist from using schools as bargaining chips in their service delivery protests,” Motshekga said.Overall national performanceFor the past eight years, we have noted that the NSC pass rate has consistently been above the previous 70% glass ceiling, the Minister said. “The Class of 2018 must be commended for maintaining this trend. They are the fourth largest cohort in the history of basic education to register for any NSC examination in the country,” she added.”The 2018 NSC overall pass rate, with the progressed learners included, stands at 78.2%, a 3.1% improvement from the 75.1% achieved in 2017. This, represents 400 761 candidates, who had passed the 2018 NSC examination. “However, with the progressed learners excluded, the 2018 NSC overall pass rate stands at 79.4%, a 2.9% improvement from the 76.5% achieved in 2017. Well done to the Class of 2018!”Follow more RNEWS articles, subscribe to our YouTube channel and for breaking news LIKE us on Facebook.