Pretoria: President Jacob Zuma has extended his good wishes to all Grade 12 learners in the country who will begin writing their examinations this morning.
The learners will write their examinations against the background of an improvement in the matric percentage pass each year.
The pass rate was 62.6% in 2008, dipping to 60.6% in 2009 and rising to 67.8% in 2010 and 70.2% in 2011.
There is a steady increase in the number of learners passing at bachelor pass level, increasing between 2009 and 2011, from around 109 697 to 120 767.
“We are happy with the gradual improvement in the outcomes each year. We wish the learners well as they prepare. We urge families and communities to provide as much support as needed.
“With the improving overall passes each year, we are now focusing on improving the quality of the passes. We want to see an increase in the number of learners passing at bachelor’s level and also an improvement in the results of mathematics and science papers,” said President Zuma.
The President said government had decided to invest in education from the basics, from the Early Childhood Development (ECD) level.
“The doubling of Grade R enrolment between 2003 and 2011 from 300 000 to 705 000 is a major achievement for the country. We are on track to meet its target of having 100% coverage for Grade R by 2014.
“We cannot put pressure on our children at Grade 12 level without beginning our intensive investment in them from Grade R. We are now doing exactly that,” said the President.
“We wish to remind all that education is a societal issue. Let us work together to support the learners and the educators.”