Middleburg — More girls in Mpumalanga are choosing Maths and Physical Science as subjects.
Presenting the province's overall 70% matric pass rate at a press conference in Middelburg on Thursday, Education MEC Reginah Mhaule said 18 835 matrics wrote Mathematics in 2012, more than half of whom, or 10 126, were girls.
Altogether, 16 493 pupils wrote Physical Science and, again, more than half, or 8 708, were girls.
"This shows that our strategies for getting the girl learner to take Mathematics and Physical Science are bearing fruit," she said.
She noted that the province missed its target of 11 000 matrics who pass Mathematics. She said only 9 998 matrics were able to pass Mathematics in 2012.
This was, however, better than 2011 when 9 199 passed.
The pass rate for those taking Physical Science also improved from 9 025 in 2011 to 10 426 in 2012.
Mhaule said her department was continuing its drive to promote Mathematics and Physical Science as subjects.
"We urge parents and schools to continue encouraging and supporting learners to choose and study these subjects. We remain committed to delivering on this national mandate," she said.
Mhaule said that in 2013, her department will introduce Club 50 and Club 100 schools that are expected to ensure that at least 50 or 100 pupils respectively pass Mathematics and Physical Science with a score of 50% or more.
"We urge schools to start working now to become members of these clubs," she said.
This year, the department has set a target of 30 000 pupils who choose Mathematics as a subject and 17 000 who choose Physical Science as a subject in Grade 10.
The department has also established a Maths, Science and Technology Directorate to accelerate all efforts to promote excellence in Maths and Physical Science at school.