Progressed learners do well in 2016 matric results

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga says 2016 saw the largest number of progressed learners since the policy was promulgated in 2013, and they did well.

Speaking at the announcement of the 2016 National Senior Certificate (NSC) Examination Results in Midrand on Wednesday, the Minister said the department in 2016 had about 108 742 registered progressed learners, up from 65 673 in 2015.

This is an increase of 43 069 (65.5%) from the number of progressed learners in 2015.

In 2015, the Department of Basic Education encouraged provinces to progress or condone learners who have repeated Grade 11 more than once. The learners had to be over-aged to qualify. Provinces and schools were also required to give extra support to the progressed learners in order for them to sit for Grade 12 NSC examinations.

On Wednesday, the Minister said about 67 510 progressed learners wrote the requisite seven subjects during the 2016 NSC examinations.

Of the progressed learners who wrote the 2016 NSC examinations, Minister Motshekga said about 29 384 passed the 2016 NSC examinations, which represents 27% of all progressed learners.

The Minister said about 3 335 progressed learners obtained Bachelor passes, 12 636 obtained Diploma passes, and 13 385 obtained Higher Certificate passes.

The significance of these achievements, is that the 29 384 progressed learners who passed the 2016 NSC examinations there would-be-high-school dropouts if they were not progressed, now have the opportunity to either go to university or College.

This is positive indeed, especially when the National Development Plan (NDP) enjoins us to mediate the high drop-out rate of learners from the basic schooling system by increasing the learner retention rate to 90%, and allowing for an increase on the number of learners entering vocational and occupational pathways, she said.

She said the policy on progression, the diversification of the curriculum, the so-called three-stream model, and the second chance programme are some of the innovations the department has introduced to improve the retention rate and the through-put ratio in the basic education system.

We can report that research reveals that since the advent of democracy in 1994, more learners remain in school up to Grade 12.

Minister Motshegka noted that South Africa was doing well relative to other middle-income countries, such as Tunisia, Egypt, Costa Rica and Uruguay. Virtually all children remain in school up to the year in which they turn 15 years of age, in line with the compulsory schooling policy embodied in the South African Schools Act, 1994.

We have learned a lot from this exercise and working with provinces, we will continue to strengthen and provide support for progressed learners.

We wish to congratulate the Free State for the highest percentage pass rate of progressed learners at 68.1%; followed by North West at 61.1%; close third is Gauteng at 61%. We implore the Western Cape which obtained 46.9%, KwaZulu-Natal at 34.6%; Limpopo at 31.4% and the Eastern Cape at 27.4% to do more to assist progressed learners.

We thank all provinces for the extra support they had given to these learners, because some of them could have fallen through the cracks of the system due to continuous repetition and ultimate drop-out from the system.

Source: South African Government News Agency

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