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Cape Town - Thousands of matric pupils around the Western Cape were waiting outside their schools on Thursday morning in anticipation of the release of their exam results.
The Western Cape’s matric class of 2012 have broken a number of records, with the province earning 3 846 more passes than in 2011.
The province achieved a pass rate of 82.8 percent and 36 992 passes, the highest since the introduction of the national senior certificate in 2008.
“The class of 2012 will be remembered for their quality performance and the new records they have set,” said Education MEC Donald Grant.
The national pass rate also showed an increase from 70. 2 percent in 2011 to 73.9 percent in 2012.
“This growth is very encouraging, bearing in mind that when we came into office we had put the targeted growth at 75 percent by 2014. Now, at 73.9 percent, our target is within reach,” said Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga.
Of the 623 897 students who wrote the National Senior Certificate exam, more than 136 000 achieved results that qualified them to go to university. Another 135 000 achieved results that qualified them to attend other higher education institutions.
The Cape Argus will publish the results on Friday.
The class of 2012 had more maths passes and physical science passes than in 2011, and more candidates earned passes that could qualify them for bachelor degree and diploma study.
Gauteng was the top-performing province in 2012 with a pass rate of 83.9 percent. Western Cape was second, while Eastern Cape obtained the lowest pass rate at 58.1 percent.
“While we are excited about the record quantity of passes achieved this year, we are even more excited about the quality of those passes. With justification I can best describe the class of 2012 as quality performers,” said Grant.
More good news was that there was a reduction in the province in the number of underperforming schools (achieving a pass rate of below 60 percent) in the province. In 2011, 30 schools were classified as underperforming and in 2012 this decreased to 26.
At South Peninsula High School, the top 25 achievers started filing in shortly before 10 am. In hushed voices, parents and pupils huddled around lists posted on a notice board. Gasps, sighs of relief, exclamations, handshakes and smiles filled the hall.
Luke Collar, 18, was delighted. Planning to study computer science at Stellenbosch this year, Luke needed an average of at least 70 percent to qualify for a bursary. He got 75 percent.
“Oh my word!” exclaimed Laaiqa Holliday, when her finger ran down the list and came to a rest on her name and results. After hugs and a few tears, she told the Cape Argus: “This (being in the top 20 achievers) is such incredible news. In my entire life I have never put so much work into an exam, and I’m glad that all the pressure and expectation from my parents and teachers paid off.”
She plans to study law this year.
Earlier this morning, Brian Isaacs, principal at South Peninsula, phoned his star matric pupil, who is on a pilgrimage in Mecca, to inform her of her stunning results. Shagufta Zalgoankir got 7 distinctions and an average of 90.57 percent.