Johannesburg — Gauteng Education MEC Barbara Creecy says collective efforts by teachers, learners, parents and all other stakeholders in the education sector contributed to the province landing the top spot in the national matric results.
For the second time in three years, the province has achieved the best matric results in the country.
Speaking at the announcement of the provincial results in Johannesburg on Thursday, Creecy said her department would sustain the good results, and improve upon the achievement.
"The 2012 results are the result of dedication, hard work and discipline by learners, teachers and the staff of the Gauteng Education Department," she said of the province's 83.9% matric pass rate - up from 81.1% in 2011.
Creecy had a special word of thanks for the teaching staff.
"Thousands of you have gone the extra mile, attending courses, participating in our in-service development offerings, upgrading your management skills and most importantly, putting our learners at the centre of your efforts every day," she said.
She said the results showed that with the right policies paired with the right support, attitude and systems, it was possible to achieve the matric results needed by the economy.
"We celebrate those who are not on the front pages of newspapers but whose results represent hours of hard work, discipline, diligence and determination to do their best," said the MEC.
The number of distinctions achieved by Gauteng learners has risen from 33 959 last year to 35 089, with most schools in the province having achieved a pass rate above 60%.
"These figures show that education in Gauteng is on the right track, producing ever greater consistency as our results continue to rise towards levels equal to the international norm," Creecy said.
Of the seven learners in the province who obtained 100% in Mathematics, six are from township schools.
One of the top achievers in the province, Cindy Ndhlovu (18), who obtained six distinctions, told SAnews that she could not have done it without hard work and determination.
She encouraged all those who did not make it not to lose hope and go back to school.
Cindy, who will go on to study B.Com Accounting at the University of Pretoria, was named best learner in Business Studies and Accounting. She was also named best learner in a Public School.
Another top achiever, Megan de Vries (18) from Fourways High School - who got eight distinctions -said the road to success hasn't been easy.
"I worked very hard," she said with a smile, adding that the feeling of being one of the top achievers was overwhelming.
Only one public school in the province performed below 40% and 10 schools performed between 40% and 50%.
According to Creecy, the most improved school in Gauteng was Edward Phatudi in Attridgeville, with a pass rate of 90.5% from 36.6% in 2011.
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga and Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane congratulated the 2012 matric class for their achievements, wishing them well in their future endeavours.