South African President Jacob Zuma on Thursday, congratulated all the matriculants who sat through their National Senior Certificates (NSC) examinations in 2017, saying that the Grade 12 learners have been consistently improving pass rate since the dawn of democracy in the country.

“We welcome the fact that the pass rate has consistently improved since the democratic dispensation, especially since the reconfiguration of Education into two separate departments namely Basic Education on one hand and Higher Education and Training on the other hand,” Zuma said. 

“This reaffirms government’s focus on education as an apex priority and the greatest enabler of the society as well as a key aspect of our programme of Radical Socio-Economic Transformation.”

Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga announced that the 2017 NSC overall pass rate, with the progressed learners included, stands at 75.1 percent, a 2.6 percent improvement from the 72.5 percent achieved in 2016.

The Class of 2017 has recorded the third highest enrolment of Grade 12 learners in the history of the basic education system in South Africa.

Motshekga said that of the 534,484 full-time candidates and 117,223 part-time candidates who wrote the 2017 NSC examinations, 86,265 passed with Higher Certificates, 99 passed with a National Senior Certificate, and 133,049 candidates did not make it.

Zuma further encouraged those who did not achieve a university pass and those who failed never to lose hope, adding that there was a wide choice of other opportunities.

“We encourage those who did not pass that there are still plenty opportunities to be explored to fulfill their dreams. We wish to remind our matriculants of the many opportunities provided by Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVETs) colleges and other vocational training centres across the country,” Zuma said. 

“The learners still have an extra opportunity to better their results in their second attempt during supplementary examinations to take place at many matric rewrite centres. They should use this setback as an opportunity to reflect and improve.”

Zuma also called on parents, teachers, friends and relatives to provide the necessary support to all the Class of 2017 matriculants.

 – African News Agency (ANA)