'No education crisis': Motshekga
There is no crises in the quality of education in Gauteng and South Africa, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said on Thursday.
"It [the matric result] is worth celebrating, even though we still have challenges... But there is no crisis," Motshekga said in Johannesburg at the announcement of the Gauteng 2012 matric results.
"There is an inter-ministerial [committee] to deal with the [problems]. Today we celebrate."
The number of pupils who passed the National Senior Certificate examination in Gauteng increased by 2.8 percent, from 81.1 percent in 2011 to 83.9 percent in 2012.
Motshekga congratulated the students, teachers and parents in the province for having achieved the best results in the country for the second time in three years.
"Thank you very much for giving us joy and pride."
Gauteng education MEC Barbara Creecy said the province produced the best matric results the province had seen since 1994.
"The best results since we introduced universal access to education. And most importantly, the best results ever, not just in terms of numbers, but in terms of the quality of the results by schools, by districts and across the province."
Creecy said education should be seen as a marathon and not a sprint. The results showed a significant improvement in the quality of passes achieved in the province.
She said the big challenge for her province in the new year was to maintain, sustain and improve on the already improved matric results.
"I don't want to pretend that it's easy because it is not easy.
"Today is a happy day, but from tomorrow we start again with how now to sustain it [the pass rate]. I do not think the challenges for 2013 are any different... We have a tried and tested recipe."
Pint-sized Cindy Ndhlovu from Soshanguve Secondary School obtained six distinctions and said the class of 2013 should not wait until June to start preparing for their exams. She was number two in the province among so-called priority (township) schools.
"Making sacrifices and taking your time to study pays off. The class of 2013 should start to study from early on to make it easier at the end of the year," the 19-year-old said.
Top achiever in Gauteng with eight distinctions, Megan de Vries, from Fourways High School, said setting achievable goals was important for success.
"Hard work, commitment and perseverance is [sic] important," she said.
De Vries said balancing time, school work and social life were the most difficult part of being a matriculant, but said the sacrifices paid off.
Both De Vries and Ndhlovu intended becoming accountants.
On Wednesday, Motshekga announced that the matric pass rate in South Africa improved in 2012, with 73.9 percent of grade 12s passing. This was an improvement on the 70.2 percent pass rate in 2011.
Of the 623,897 who wrote the NSC exams, over 136,000 pupils achieved results that qualified them to go to university. Another 135,000 got results that would allow them to attend other higher education institutions.