Pretoria — The South African Democratic Teachers' Union (Sadtu) has joined the rest of the country in congratulating 2011 matrics who have passed the exams.
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga announced the results yesterday, which reflected an improvement of 2.4% from 2010's pass rate of 67.8%.
"We are happy with the fact that raw marks were accepted in most subjects. This is an indication of the maturity of the system," said Sadtu General Secretary Mugwena Maluleke.
"We also encouraged by the increase in the number of learners who obtained Bachelor degrees entry requirements."
In 2011, 24.3% of Grade 12 learners qualified for Bachelor studies - an improvement from 2010's 23.5%.
In 2011, 496 090 candidates, compared to 537 543 candidates in 2010, sat for the National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations, while 80 116 part-time students wrote the exams.
Sadtu also commended the no-fee schools for having improved their performance from the previous results.
"Continuous improvement of these schools indicates the need for free, compulsory public education," said the union.
It added that admission policies at institutions of higher learning should be more accommodative, and encouraged school leavers, who will not study at universities, to consider going to Further Education and Training (FET) colleges.
Although the country's overall pass rate is encouraging at 70.2%, some provinces have achieved a lower pass rate, with the Eastern Cape having achieved the lowest pass rate with 58.1% (down from 58.3% in 2010). The Northern Cape achieved a 68.8% pass rate, down from 72.3% achieved in 2010. KwaZulu-Natal achieved 68.1%, down from 70.7% in 2010.
On the other hand, the Western Cape, Gauteng, North West, Free State, Mpumalanga and Limpopo all improved their pass rates.
This, according to Sadtu, indicates that where more effort is put in, benefits are yielded.
A total of 104 033 matrics passed mathematics and a further 96 441 passed physical science.