The Northern Cape achieved an overall matric pass rate of 75.8%, the lowest in the country.
THE NORTHERN Cape saw its second-largest cohort of candidates over the past five years register for and pass the National Senior Certificate (NSC) examination.
This was highlighted by Northern Cape Premier Dr Zamani Saul when he presented the 2023 matric results at a packed Mittah Seperepere Convention Centre in Kimberley on January 19.
Saul made the announcement to jubilant matriculants, parents, principals and staff of the Northern Cape Department of Education.
He applauded the Class of 2023 for having done well academically against all the odds.
The Northern Cape achieved an overall pass rate of 75.8% after 13,032 full-time candidates registered for the 2023 NSC examination. A total of 12,842 candidates wrote all their exams and 9,740 candidates passed.
A total of 183,642 answer scripts were marked by 930 markers, 82 chief markers and 82 internal moderators at four marking centres in the Province.
Saul pointed out that although the Northern Cape achieved the lowest pass rate in the country, with the national average being 82.9%, the Province has over the past four years improved its matric pass rate from 66% to 75.8%, an increase of 9.8%.
“A total of 190 candidates could not complete the National Senior Certificate examination due to reasons such as ill health and death in the immediate family and will be allowed to complete the National Senior Certificate during the May/June examination,” said Saul.
Nine schools in the Province recorded a 100% pass rate, while the number of under-performing schools below 60% reduced from 27 to 20 schools.
A total of 1,502 candidates obtained distinctions and 3,851 candidates obtained access to Bachelor’s degree university entrance.
The performance of learners in mathematics has increased by 5.5% (56.9% pass rate), while physical science decreased by 2.3% (67.2% pass rate).
“We will place more focus and attention on these subjects for 2024 to ensure improved performance, which will broaden the landscape of possibilities for our learners,” said Saul.
The Namakwa District recorded the highest pass percentage of 81.6%, an increase of 1.6%. The district also secured a place in the top 10 performing districts nationally.
ZF Mgcawu District recorded a pass percentage of 81.4% (a decrease of 2.4%), followed by the Pixley ka Seme District with a pass percentage of 74.2% (a decrease of 4.1%).
The Frances Baard District achieved a pass percentage of 73.9%, an increase of 1.8%, while the John Toalo Gaetsewe (JTG) District recorded a 73.7% pass rate, which was the highest improvement (5.7%).
Saul made a commitment that the Province will set about improving on the 2023 performance through a number of programmes with a specific focus on under-performing schools, novice teachers, progressed learners, learner performance, leadership and management and consequence management.
The premier also pointed out that education is one of the most effective ways to eradicate poverty
“My cardinal message to you today is that education is a central, critical determinant of the economic and social success of any country. It is probably the most effective means to eradicate poverty. It is the means of future success for any individual.
“Education provides the skills and competencies that will allow you to perform productive roles within the economy and society. It will enable you to achieve your own economic, social and cultural goals and you in turn will help society to be better protected and better served by its leaders and more equitable.
“Schooling is, however, not just about knowledge and skills, but also about values and attitudes, as well as creative and emotional development, all of which contribute to responsible, active and productive citizenship.
“It is the most important element in our efforts to tackle unemployment and build an economy that meets the needs of our people. That is why we have made education one of the apex priorities of this administration. We value education that prepares our young people for the needs of a democratic society and the modern economy.”