3 January 2013

South Africa: Higher Education Minister Congratulates the Matric Class of 2012 Imperial Hotel, Pietermaritzburg in Kwazulu-Natal

eNCA's Gareth Edwards interviews Clinical Psychologist, Dr Ian Opperman on how students can cope with matric results. ( Resource: Coping With Failing Matric in South Africa )

press release

We welcome the release of the final examination results for the National Senior Certificate (Matric) Class of 2012. This morning, as the Minister of Higher Education and Training, I have come to do this briefing today to add the Ministry and the department's voice in congratulating learners from the Matric Class of 2012 who have passed their NSC examinations. For the DHET, however, we are at the same time here to encourage those who have not, and raise their awareness, inform and educate them about a range of other options that are available to them within the Post-School Education and Training (PSET) system.

Our message this morning therefore goes to those who have passed those who have not and all those out of school and unemployed. I am also taking this opportunity to congratulate my colleague in the Department of Basic Education, Ms Motshega, the MECs of education, parents, and our teachers, for the improvement shown in the Matric results for the Class of 2012. We have noted and are applauding the 73.9% Matric pass rate, which translates into a 3, 7% increase from the 70.2% pass on the 2011 results. Of particular significance and excitement to us in the DHET is the increase in the pass rate for Mathematics. The increase has direct implications for enrolments in faculties where Mathematics is a pre-requisite within the HET sector.

In a country where the economic growth and the reduction of employment rely heavily on the production of critical and scarce skills, I am also particularly excited about the increase in results for Physical Science. Again, this increase has direct implications for enrolments in faculties where Physical Science is required. We have further noted an improvement in performance in key subjects like Accounting, Economics as well as History, Geography, Technical and Arts subjects. These are equally important subject for the growth of our economy as they are the basis for some of the scarce and critical skills our country needs.

Overall, as the DHET, the increase of 29 712 in this year's Matric pass rate has implications for enrolments in Higher Education. Compared to the Matric pass rate of 348 117 learners in 2011, in 2012 the number is 377 829 or from 70.2% to 73.9% have passed. The growth rate 8.54% means that the post school opportunities should be growing at a rate of more than 8.54%. In 2012 there has been an increase of in the number of learners who have achieved a Bachelors' pass, from 120 767 in 2011 to a total of 136 047 this year. This translates into an increase from 24.3% to 26.6% or an increase of 15 280 more learners, many of whom will be seeking spaces at Universities. The 12, 65% growth rate of the Bachelors passes for 2012 means that University opportunities should be growing at a rate of more than 12.65%.

It becomes important to note this point that the growth rate of the university education sector has been at an average of about 5 % per annum over the last five years. The planned growth rate per annum going forward is at about 3%, which is what is required to reach the target of 1.5m enrolments in Higher Education by 2030.

The advantage of the decrease in the number of Diploma passes from 2011 to 2012, which amounts to 1843 less passes; means that Universities of Technology (UoT) will be able to accommodate some of the Bachelors pass candidates in their institutions. In 2011, 85 296 achieved a Certificate pass in NSC, in 2012 the number is 88 604 or from 17.2% to 17.3% passed. The 3.88% increase in the Certificate pass for 2012, compared to 2011, has implications for UoT and College enrolments. Notwithstanding this low growth rate UoT and College Certificate Programme opportunities should be growing at a faster rate to relieve Universities of increasing Bachelor passes. With these results we have seen a decrease of 9.9% in learners (14 650) who have not achieved a NSC, and this for us is clearly a positive sign.

As Minister of Higher Education and Training, I want to take this opportunity to particularly urge those who have not passed their Matric to access all the sources of relevant information that the department has created specifically for them to choose from a range of options within the PSET system. We have set up a Career Advice Clearing House (CACH) call centre which can be accessed on 0860 111 673 which has a line for SMS's and "Please Call Me" on 0722 045 056. For those with internet access, we have set up a website: http:cach.dhet.gov.za

In terms of our mandate, DHET is responsible for both those who have passed Matric, as well as those who have not. No one must lose hope because they have not passed. Learning does not begin and end with a Matric, but is rather a life-long experience with various options within the post-school system. Our Further Education and Training (FET) Colleges are institutions ideally suited for those wishing to make up their "matric" and for those wishing to study subjects that will lead to a vocational career path. FET Colleges are post school institutions of choice for South Africa's economic growth, critical and scarce skills provision for the country and the reduction of unemployment.

There are 50 FET Colleges with 264 campuses all over the country which offer a range of programmes that cater for most students' needs and interests ranging from Engineering, Business Studies, Art and Music to Food Services. The 23 Universities in the country will provide access to approximately 180 000 new entrants in 2013 for those wishing to pursue their studies in the fields of business and management; science, engineering and technology; humanities and education. Public FET Colleges have a total of 100 000 spaces for the 2013 enrolments.

I want to also appeal to those who have not yet been accepted into an institution of higher learning for post school studies not to go and queue at any institution but to call the CACH call centre, send a free SMS or a 'Please Call Me' for information about institutions that still have spaces open for applicants at this time of the year. Going to stand in queues at our institutions puts your life and safety at risk. Please get the correct information about available Courses and admission spaces by calling 0860 111 673; or send a "Please Call Me" or an SMS to 0722 045 056.

The CACH helpline has been set up specifically to provide support and assistance to all out of school youth and the unemployed, by providing information and advice about options that are open to them. These include Universities, Colleges, Learnerships, Internships and information about higher education and training institutions that are still accepting applications at this time of the year.

The Call centre is particularly set up to be accessed by those from remote, rural and poor areas without internet connection, television and newspapers. All of these sources of information are supported by a multi-media campaign through television, youth-focused social media platforms, community and commercial radio as well as the print media. The communication campaign commenced on television yesterday.

Some of those who have come out of the schooling system may choose to find work. Those who wish to enter the world of work or need to increase their skills capabilities should consider the options of Learnerships, Apprenticeships and skills programmes through any of the 21 Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs) which cover each economic sector in the country. The CACH call centre, SMS and Please call lines will give you free advice and information on this option as well.

The Department of Higher Education and Training welcomes the Class of 2012 into the post school education and training system where learning and growth can take place in South African Universities, Comprehensive Universities, Universities of Technology, Public Further Education and Training Colleges and Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs).

Issued by: Department of Higher Education and Training

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