Minister Schafer confident that the Western Cape will see an improvement in 2015 NSC results

By Debbie Schafer, Western Cape Minister of Education:

On Wednesday 6th January 2016, more than 53 000 candidates in the Western Cape will receive their individual National Senior Certificate (NSC) results.

While we all wait anxiously for the release of the results, I am quietly confident that the Class of 2015 will do this Province proud. Candidates, their educators and WCED officials have worked hard this past year and I am certain that this will translate into improved results across a number of areas.

While there is a tendency to focus solely on the provincial pass rate, which is an important indicator, the Western Cape Government also considers several other crucial indicators of an improving education system when analysing the results and determining the overall success of the examinations.

These indicators include:

  • the number of candidates writing and passing the NSC examinations;
  • the number of candidates achieving access to a Bachelor’s Degree pass;
  • the number of candidates passing mathematics and science

If we examine these indicators we can then determine if the system is ultimately improving and if the Western Cape Government is fulfilling our objectives of improving both the quality of education and access to education as outlined in our Strategic Plan.

Since 2009, since the DA-led Government took office the Western Cape Government, we have seen education outcomes in the Province improve. We now hope to see further improvements in the 2015 NSC results, especially in the number of passes achieved, and increases in access to a Bachelor’s Degree.

Access to a Bachelor’s Degree is significant, as it broadens the opportunities for learners to study further. Universities in South Africa and abroad also look at the quality of the pass and set requirements for Bachelor’s Degree study and diploma study accordingly.

Since 2009, the Western Cape Province has improved on the number of Bachelor Degree passes achieved and has consistently outperformed other Provinces in this critical area.

I would therefore like to see even further increases in Bachelor Passes this year.

As a DA-led Government, we believe that a future with more jobs, less inequality, better education and greater freedom to pursue opportunity is a vision that is shared by all South Africans, and must be pursued vigorously.

Improving the results in subjects such as Mathematics and Science is very important in realising this future, and contributing to much-needed skills in our economy.

Therefore, any analysis of the matric results must also consider the numbers and ratio of learners passing mathematics and science.

Good results in these subjects open up learning and earning opportunities for people and are important for the growth of South Africa.

It is important to note that since we took office in 2009, we have seen a significant improvement in the results in mathematics, with the percentage pass rate in this subject increasing from 64.9% in 2009 to 73.9% in 2014. This is a percentage increase of 9 percentage points, which is a remarkable achievement.

In Physical Science, results have increased from 52.9% in 2009 to 70.7% in 2014. Yet again, this is a remarkable achievement seeing a percentage increase of 11.1%.

Again, I hope to see improvements in these two critical subject areas.

I look forward to analysing the results of the Western Cape and determining our overall success in the 2015 NSC.