MEC Debbie Schäfer: Western Cape matric results

5 Jan 2017

Minister Schafer extremely happy with increase in pass rate while successfully retaining the highest percentage of learners in the country

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Matric Class of 2016 in the Western Cape who achieved an excellent 86% pass rate in the National Senior Certificate examinations – an increase of 1.3% from 2015. This is the actual pass rate, which includes progressed learners, who form an integral part of our system, and who all wrote the full exam. 

I am extremely happy that the Western Cape has increased our pass rate while successfully retaining the highest percentage in the country of learners within the system.

I am particularly pleased with our performance according to key quality indicators. Our quality indicators include the following:

  • The percentage of candidates who qualify for Bachelor degree studies
  • Passes in Mathematics and Physical Science
  • The number of underperforming schools
  • Pass rates in our poorest schools (in Quintiles 1, 2 and 3)

We have always maintained that indicators of quality go well beyond the overall pass rate. This year 40.9% of candidates achieved bachelor passes, the highest in SA. The class of 2016 also had a record breaking pass rate of 77.2% in mathematics, and 73.8% in Physical Science.

The pass rates of schools serving the poorest communities are also up (Quintiles 1-3), and the number of under-performing schools is down yet again.

The Western Cape’s performance in the 2016 NSC is one of quality, and of which I am very proud. I acknowledge that there is still much to be done to improve education in this province, especially the inequalities that still exist. We will continue to look at ways of improving education in the Western Cape as we want to see more learners achieving their NSC and access to higher education to broaden their opportunities. 

See Below for a detailed discussion of several key indicators from the Western Cape NSC results:

Pass rate and numbers passing

A total of 43 725 candidates passed matric in 2016, achieving a pass rate of 86%, an improvement of 1.3% on the pass rate of 84.7% in 2015. The total number passing was less than 2015 because the cohort that year was particularly large (53 721 compared to 47 709 in 2014 and 50 847 in 2016).

Bachelors pass rate

In the 2016 NSC examinations, 40.9% of NSC candidates qualified for access to Bachelor’s Degree Study. This is the highest percentage in the country, and we remain the only province to have achieved 40% or above in this regard.

Maths and science pass rates

In determining quality, we must also consider the Mathematics and Physical Science results.

It is pleasing that we saw improvements in percentage passing in both subjects in the 2016 NSC.

The class of 2016 achieved a record breaking pass rate of 77.2% in mathematics.

This is an increase of 2.3% from 2015, when the pass rate was 74.9%.

Physical Science candidates achieved a 73.8% pass rate, up 0.5% from 2015 when the pass rate was 73.3%. This is yet another record for this Province and a result that we can all be proud of given that the pass rate in this subject was 52.9% when this administration first took office in the Province in 2009.

While there is still much to be done in these areas, particularly in increasing those taking these subjects, we can be confident that we are improving in both the quantity and quality of these two critical subjects. 

I am especially delighted that we have the top three learners in the country in Mathematics and the top 2 in Mathematics and Science combined.

The Western Cape took the top three positions in Mathematics

  • 1st place – Conrad Strydom from Hermanus High School, Western Cape
  • 2nd place – Bronson Rudner who came in the top position in the country. From S.A College High School, Western Cape
  • 3rd place – Hannah Clayton from Rustenburg Girls High School, Western Cape

The Western Cape also took the top two positions in the Country for Mathematics and Physical Science with Bronson Rudner coming in 1st place followed by Conrad Strydom.

A reduction in underperforming schools

A further indicator of success is the reduction of underperforming schools. I am therefore pleased to announce that we have managed to reduce the number of underperforming schools from 27 in 2015 to 19 in 2016.

One such school is New Eisleben Secondary School in Crossroads in the Metro South Education District, which I visited today. The school increased their pass rate by 21% from 47.1% in 2015 to 68.1% in 2016. This is a remarkable achievement given that the school also saw an increase in numbers from 136 in 2014 to 216 last year. Acting School Principal Mr Katama says that he is very excited that the school has managed to achieve this increase.  He paid tribute to the extra efforts of the teachers, the support of the circuit manager and even the SAPS, who have readily assisted them with gangster-related issues, which plague the community.  I echo his sentiments, and wish to thank all roleplayers for their contribution.  It shows what can be done and I trust this will serve as an inspiration to other schools.

Metro South District Director Glen Van Harte says that ‘New Eisleben has been an underperforming school for the past 5 years and we are so proud that they have done so well this year.’

Improvements in quintile results

In the 2016 NSC we saw an improvement in the pass rate in all quintiles. I am particularly pleased that quintiles 1-3 have all improved. The results are as follows:

Quintile 1:

  • 2016: 75.2%
  • 2015: 74.1%

Quintile 2:

  • 2016: 73.9%
  • 2015: 71.7%

Quintile 3:

  • 2016: 76.9%
  • 2015: 74.2%

Retention rates

In the Western Cape we place great emphasis on ensuring that we keep as many learners in the school system for as long as possible and that they get the opportunity to write and pass their NSC.

We are proud that the Western Cape has yet again retained the highest percentage of learners in the country from Grade 10-12, namely 64.13%.  This is important to try and limit the number of learners dropping out of the system.

District results

I am pleased that in the 2016 NSC, 6 out of 8 districts saw an improvement in their results. Every District in the Western Cape achieved a pass rate of over 80%. Most notably is the Overberg District which achieved a pass rate of 92.61% up from 89.65%. This is the highest pass rate in the Country. I wish to heartily congratulate the Overberg District Director Mr Bertram Loriston and his team for an outstanding result.  I am aware of a number of additional and innovative support measures that were provided to our learners throughout the 2016 school year and am therefore delighted that their efforts have borne fruit.

I would specifically like to mention two other districts.  The first is Metro North, which increased by 4.13% from 83.95% to 88.08 under the leadership of Mr Alan Meyer.  The second is Metro East.  Metro East is the only district in the Western Cape to have a higher number of matriculants this year than last year (the others having fewer because of the smaller cohort). It contains a large number of underprivileged communities.  Yet they managed to increase their pass rate by 2.39% from 80.08% to 82.47%.

But all our districts have performed well, and a hearty congratulations to all our District Directors who have worked so hard to achieve this.

Schools in Mitchells Plain continue to improve

12 out of 16 schools in Mitchells Plain saw an increase in their pass rate. In 2015 Mitchells Plain schools achieved an average pass rate of 83.9% and in 2016 have increased that to 86.4%.  This is 10% more than their 2014 performance, and is truly heartening.  This sustained improvement must be congratulated.

Western Cape learners claim top positions

The Country’s top three positions in Quintile 5 schools all went to learners from the Western Cape. The winners were as follows:

  • 1st place – Conrad Strydom from Hermanus High School, Western Cape
  • 2nd place – Christine Vivier from De Kuilen Hoerskool, Western Cape
  • 3rd place – Hannah Clayton from Rustenburg

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate my colleague MEC Tate Makgoe and the Free State Education Department, as well as all 2016 NSC Candidates across the Country.  Competition between provinces in the NSC is healthy, as the real winners are essentially our learners.

The Western Cape’s performance in the 2016 NSC is one of quality, and of which I am very proud. I acknowledge that there is still much to be done to improve education in this province, especially the inequalities that still exist. We will continue to look at ways of improving education in the Western Cape as we want to see more learners achieving their NSC and access to higher education to broaden their opportunities. 

Enquiries:
Jessica Shelver
Cell: 076 175 0663
Email: Jessica.Shelver@westerncape.gov.za  

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