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The importance of beginning the schooling year with commitment and dedication to their school work has proven to be the main secret of success for learners passing with distinctions. Basic Education Minister, Mrs Angie Motshekga, met with the Class of 2015 top achievers at Vodacom World in Midrand to honour them by acknowledging their outstanding performance in the National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations. This popular annual event seeks to motivate all South African learners to aspire towards academic achievement.

In her opening remarks, Vodacom Chief Officer: Corporate Affairs, Ms Maya Makanjee, congratulated the top achievers and encouraged them to keep up the high standards as they set out towards their future. Ms Makanjee pledged Vodacom’s support to continue to work hand in hand with the DBE in ensuring that all learners have access to quality learning and teaching with interventions such as the Vodacom e-school online educational tool for learners in Grades 8 – 12, which gives lessons and assignments matching the South African Curriculum Assessment Policy Statements taken directly from the school syllabus. The portal allows users to access previous question papers, visual lessons and interactive learning.

Deputy Minister of Basic Education, Mr Enver Surty, said that the partnership between the DBE and Vodacom plays a crucial role in ensuring that all public schools are digitised to meet the demands of the 21st Century.

Addressing the dignitaries and top achievers, Minister Motshekga stated that the Class of 2015 was the biggest cohort in the history of the country to sit for the NSC examinations. A total of 799 306 candidates registered for the NSC in 2015; written by 667 925 full time candidates and 131 381 part time candidates. 10.5 million scripts were marked by 49 900 markers at 121 marking centres around the country. In 2015 the NSC examinations observed the highest number of progressed learners – 66 088 – accounting for 9% of all candidates.

The Minister assured learners that the DBE has consciously and deliberately increased the cognitive demand of the NSC examination papers in preparing South African learners to meet international standards. “Our kids are part of the global village and they have to be in a position to compete internationally, so increasing the cognitive demand of the question papers was a step in the right direction,” said Minister Motshekga.

In conclusion, Minister Motshekga thanked Vodacom for partnering with the DBE in bridging the inequality gap by way of providing access to digital education and expressed her gratitude to all parents who supported their children throughout the entire examination period.

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