The Gauteng Education Department has dominated proceedings at the announcement of the 2018 National Senior Certificate (NSC) results on Thursday.
During the ceremony, Education Minister Angie Motshekga announced that Gauteng had pipped the Free State as the best performing province, achieving an 87.9% pass rate, an improvement of 2.8% from 2017. The province also had eight districts in the 10 best performing districts in the country.
In second place was the Free State, obtaining 87.5%, an improvement of 1.4% from 2017. The Western Cape and North West followed, correspondently obtaining 81.5% and 81.1% pass rates. Both provinces improved their pass rates by 1.3% and 1.7%, respectively.
The Minister congratulated Gauteng, saying the province 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.
In fifth place was Mpumalanga, improving its 2017 pass rate by 4.2% to obtain 79%. KwaZulu-Natal with 76% (3.3% improvement), Northern Cape with 73.3% (2.3% decline) and the Eastern Cape with 70% (5.6% increase), were the other provinces to obtain a 70% and above pass rate.
Limpopo, despite improving its pass rate by 3.8% to 69.4%, was the only province to miss out on the 70% threshold.
In her speech, Motshekga saluted the Eastern Cape for significantly improving its pass rate.
The NDP (National Development Plan) 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, she 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. Only one district in the Eastern Cape, achieved a pass rate lower than 60%.
For the first time in the NSC results history, the 10 top performing districts in the country are from two provinces, Gauteng and the Free State.
It is for the first time that four of the top 10 performing districts performed above 85%; and six of the top ten districts broke the 90% glass ceiling. Notably, out of the top 10 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 Minister said.
The top performing districts in their respective provinces, are:
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%; and
Ninth is Nelson Mandela in the Eastern Cape, with 76.1%;
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, said the Minister.
Motshekga said the Eastern Cape should be applauded for joining the 70% performance club, which includes the Northern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga.
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.
I must particularly single out the Eastern Cape.
She attributed the province's improvement to late MEC Mandla Makupula's leadership. Makupula passed away late last year after an illness.
Despite the challenges they are faced with, especially the contestations related to the rationalisation of small and unviable schoolsthe 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 said.
The Minister also commended the North West, Western Cape, Free State and Gauteng for maintaining their 80% performance status.
Source: South African Government News Agency