This is the best matric class since 1994 - Jacob Zuma

President says at 78.2% the 2013 pass rate the highest since the dawn of freedom and democracy


President Jacob Zuma has congratulated all the learners who sat through the 2013 National Senior Certificate examinations, otherwise known as Matriculation.

President Zuma said "this is the best Matric Class since 1994" and hailed the significant improvement in the Matric Pass Rate as the highest since the dawn of freedom and democracy, improving from last year's national pass raste of 73,9% to 78.2 % as announced by Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga.

"Education will take this country to prosperity which is why it is one of government's five key priorities. We are therefore pleased to note this consistently upward trend in the matric results, with the pass rate going from 62.6% in 2008, dipping to 60.6% in 2009 only to rise to 67.8% in 2010,70.2% in 2011 and 73.9% in 2012."

In 2009, Government set a target to obtain 175 000 bachelor's passes by 2014.

"Clearly the target of 175000 bachelor's passes is reachable given that the class of 2013 has achieved 171 755 passes. We urge the 2014 class to work very hard to bring us closer to the target,'' said the President.

President Zuma added that the Class of 2013 represented a special category of learners in South Africa as the country celebrates 20 years of democracy and freedom in 2014. Our youth are providing that South Africa has changed for the better, our children have improved opportunities to do better,"said the President.

"We wish to congratulate all the Matriculants who sat for the exams as well as the parents, teachers and school principals and school governing bodies.

No education system can perform better than the quality of its teachers and the support of communities in which the schools are based," President Zuma said.

The President also congratulated the Minister of Basic Education and her team for the progress made.

"Government wishes to convey a strong message of support to those who did not perform well in the examinations. All is not lost. It is not the end of the world. The youth must know that they can still improve their results and go on to achieve the career of their dreams. We urge parents and teachers to support the children during this time. Let us work together and provide unconditional support to our young ones, they are all special, '' added President Zuma.

President Zuma reminded the youth that there was now an improved range of learning options to meet the demands of those who passed matric but did not meet the requirements for university entrance, with government having expanded spaces and options at Further Education and Training (FET) colleges countrywide.

Statement issued by Mac Maharaj, The Presidency, January 6 2014

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