“The cry of the African child has reverberated throughout the corners of the globe. There is now a global education agenda, the UNESCO Education Agenda 2030, which is part of the seventeen UNESCO sustainable development goals. The UNESCO Sustainable Development Goal 4, the Continental Education Strategy for Africa on the African Agenda 2063, the National Development Plan (NDP) Vision 2030, and the Action Plan 2019: Towards Schooling 2030 provide a clear direction in improving access, redress, equity, efficiency and quality of learning outcomes through the implementation of the Medium-Term Strategic Framework and the National Strategy for Learner Attainment,” the Minister for Basic Education, Mrs Angie Motshekga, said during the release of the 2016 National Senior Certificate (NSC) Examination results.
The NSC Examination results are one of the most important barometers to evaluate progress made by Government. Progress in the sector has also been confirmed by the results of recent regional and international assessment studies such as the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) 2015 and the SACMEQ IV, showing that the performance of South African learners is improving, symptomatic of a system in an upward trajectory.
Minister Angie Motshekga, announced the 2016 NSC results on 04 January 2017 at Vodacom World in Midrand, Johannesburg, saying that the Class of 2016 has achieved an overall national pass rate of 76.2% without progressed learners, an increase from 74.1%. However, when including progressed learners, the figure was 72.5%, an increase from a previous figure of 70.7%. For the past six years the NSC pass rate has consistently been above the 70% threshold.
The Class of 2016 is the ninth cohort of learners to sit for the NSC Examinations and the third cohort to write the National Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS) aligned NSC Examinations. The Class of 2016 has also recorded the highest enrolment of Grade 12 learners in the history of the basic education system in South Africa. The total number of candidates, who registered for the November 2016 NSC examinations, was 828,020; comprising of 674,652 full-time candidates and 153,368 part-time candidates. Of these candidates, 610,178 full-time candidates and 107,793 part-time candidates wrote the 2016 NSC examinations.
The number of learners qualifying for admission to Bachelor studies is 162,374; the number of passes with a Diploma is 179,619; and the number of passes with Higher Certificates is 100,486. The Class of 2016 also registered an increased number of distinctions being obtained, with the Minister also confirming that the performance of learners in Mathematics and Physical Science, which are gateway subjects, have also shown an increase in the number of passes. “In 2016, a total of 158,160 distinctions were achieved. In the 12 key subjects (including Mathematics, Physical Science, Accounting, Economics, among others) the total number of distinctions increased from 63,348 in 2015 to 65,154 in 2016.
The Minister commended the Free State Education MEC and his team for attaining the first place in the 2016 NSC Examinations results. She provided a glimpse of results captured without progressed learners. The Free State Province was the only province that broke the 90% threshold, with 93.2% pass rate. It was followed by the Western Cape Province with 87.7%, and Gauteng Province with 87%. Gauteng Province was followed by the North West Province with 86.2%; the Northern Cape Province with 82.2%; Mpumalanga Province with 81.3%; KwaZulu-Natal Province with 69.5%; Limpopo Province with 68.2%; and the Eastern Cape Province with 63.3%. The Minister commended the six provinces which recorded more than 80% performance in their 2016 NSC Examination performance.
Conrad Strydom, from Hermanus High School in the Western Cape Province, was announced as the overall top Grade 12 performer for 2016 and the best achiever in Mathematics. Strydom said that he plans to study Physics at the University of Stellenbosch to become a world class physicist. He has won various awards during his matric year, one of which was first place during the 2016 South African Physics Olympiad competition.
Click on the below link to view Minister Motshekga’s full speech: