Johannesburg - Youth groups, the Eastern Cape ANC and the Western Cape provincial government welcomed the 3.7 percent improvement to the 2012 matric results released on Wednesday.
“The improved results demonstrate that our young people are serious about their development and achieving economic freedom in our lifetime,” the ANC Youth League said in a statement.
While the ANCYL welcomed the results, it argued that there were not enough positions at universities to take on all those who qualified.
“We remind our government to prioritise delivering on their promise of building additional universities,” the youth league said.
It urged young people to consider vocational training instead of universities.
The IFP Youth Brigade also offered its “cautious” congratulations in the students who passed matric.
“The IFPYB congratulates the class of 2012 with caution. On one hand we have a situation of an increase to 73.9 percent and on the other we have to continue probing the quality of the actual pass,” said IFPYB chairman Mkhuleko Hlengwa in a statement.
“We need to ensure that these passes are of a qualitative quantity.”
Hlengwa also called on government to do more for male pupils who had a lower pass rate than their female classmates.
He said male students were being left behind and suggested the education system was favouring females.
“As a nation we cannot afford to neglect male learners in order to promote females. Both need to be developed at equally. Both must be given the same treatment,” Hlengwa said.
The 2012 matric pass rate was 73.9 percent, up from 70.2 percent in 2011.
The Eastern Cape scored a 61.6 percent 2012 pass rate - up from its 2011 58.1 percent equivalent.
The provincial ANC said it welcomed the improved pass rate in the province and claimed it showed the benefit of people working together.
“The improvements prove beyond any doubt that, when we work together, there is more that can be done in the province,” Eastern Cape ANC spokesman Mlibo Qoboshiyane said in a statement.
While the Eastern Cape improved its rate, it was still one of the lowest performing provinces in South Africa.
“The province maybe at the tail end in terms of percentages scored by other provinces, but this is not poor performance. We have registered a good improvement and we hope for more in future,” Qoboshiyane said.
The Western Cape was the only province in the country that recorded a decline in its pass rate. There was a .1 percent different in its 82.8 pass rate in 2012, compared to the 82.9 percent of Western Cape matrics that passed in 2011.
Western Cape education MEC Donald Grant said he was “delighted” at the province's results.
He based this on the Western Cape having maintained a “stable” pass rate while a record number of students, 36,992, took the exam.
“We are very pleased that the pass rate remained stable while the number of candidates grew so significantly,” Grant said.
He also argued that the province had more “quality” passes with more bachelor and diploma passes. - Sapa