Improving quality as important as growing quantity - Western Cape MEC
Western Cape Education MEC Debbie Schäfer on Tuesday evening celebrated the province's dominance in the 2015 matric results, but with mixed feelings.
"It was with great pleasure and pride that I learnt that the Western Cape this year achieved the highest pass rate in the country, at 84.7% - an increase of 2.5 percentage points from 2014.
"We are concerned, however, that we are the only province to have recorded an improvement in the pass rate, as this is a worrying development for our country," she said in a statement shortly after the announcement in Midrand, Gauteng.
In the past, the Western Cape government had always urged education commentators and the general public to look beyond the matric pass rate, and interrogate the statistics more carefully, she said.
"Improving quality is as important as improving the quantity of passes."
Schäfer said, given the many challenges the country's education system faced, improving the quality of education was only possible through sustained interventions in schools, and the hard work of the matrics, their teachers and district officials.
"We are pleased that this effort is reaping results. Every single learner who passed matric in the Western Cape passed with access to higher education.
There was also growth in the number of candidates writing and passing mathematics and physical science.
"I am particularly pleased that a record number of candidates passed their NSC this year, and that once again we have seen an improvement in schools with high proportions of historically disadvantaged learners.
"In the Western Cape, we place great emphasis on ensuring that we keep as many learners in the school system for as long as possible and that they get the opportunity to write and pass their NSC," she said.
She also congratulated all the matriculants across the country, and thanked the markers "who have worked long hours to ensure that the results were ready in time".
"I now look forward to celebrating these successes with learners and educators over the next few days and will be analysing these results even further, so that targeted interventions can be designed for schools that need it most."
The overall best matriculant was Cape Town pupil Andrew Tucker from SACS, who despite missing almost six months of schooling last year, still managed to earn the top spot. He plans to study medicine at the University of the Western Cape.
Source News 24