Mpumalanga was making inroads in encouraging schools in the province to appreciate the fact that mathematics, physical science and technology were the key to free South Africa from the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality, Education MEC Reginah Mhaule said on Thursday.
“We are encouraged that our enrolments in mathematics are increasing,” Mhaule said speaking at the former Marapyane Agricultural College, in Marapyane Village, during the announcement of the 2016 matric results.
“In 2016, 3000 more learners enrolled [for mathematics] and 12,494 passed. Of these learners, 538 passed with distinctions and six others obtained 100 percent in the subject.
“It is encouraging that 612 learners passed physical science with distinctions, which is an improvement from 455 candidates of 2015. We need to ensure that it becomes fashionable for our learners to take up and perform well in mathematics, physical science and technology for the province to achieve the objectives of the provincial economic growth and development path.”
The province recorded seven learners who obtained 100 percent passes in physical science in 2016, added Mhaule.
Mhaule also announced that the 2016 grade 12 class achieved a 77.1 percent pass rate, a decline of 1.5 percent from the 2015 pass rate. She said the department was grateful of the fact that 54,251 learners wrote matric exams in 2016 and that 41,801 of whom made the grade.
According to Mhaule, it was concerning that there were 13 independent schools that have performed below the provincial pass rate. She said out of the 39 independent schools which wrote the National Senior Certificate examination, five obtained a 100 percent pass rate.
“The department will not hesitate to implement its policies with regards to subsidies and de-registration,” said Mhaule.
“As you may very well know, the reality is that our communities regard Grade 12 as a yardstick of determining the success of our learners and the functionality of our education system at both primary and secondary level.
“It is thus exhilarating to await the release of the Grade 12 results knowing very well that the future of so many learners and families depends on the performance there-of. It is also worth noting that the province is also counting on our learners as future leaders, professionals and good citizens.”
The department was satisfied that the management and the conduct of the examination processes in Mpumalanga province have since 2010 been delivered in a credible, incident- free process and with integrity, said Mhaule.