Justine Lara Crook Mansour from Rustenburg Girls’ High School was the top-performing matric in the country in Quintile 5, despite losing her father during her preliminary examinations. Photo: Supplied
Cape Town – The Western Cape matric pass rate is down from 84.4% in 2017 to 81.5% for the Class of 2018.

The province clinched third place again, with the Free State in second with an 87.5% pass rate, an improvement of 1.4% from 2017. Gauteng was named as the top-performing province with a pass rate of 87.9%, an improvement of 2.8% on the previous year’s results.

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga announced in Midrand yesterday that the national matric class of 2018 achieved a pass rate of 78.2%, a 3.1% improvement from 2017.

The Class of 2018 recorded the fourth-highest enrolment of full-time candidates, and the second-highest for the part-time candidates in the history of the Basic Education system in South Africa, Motshekga said.

The total number of candidates who registered for the November 2018 NSC examinations was 790843, comprising 624733 full-time candidates and 176110 part-time candidates.

The number of candidates qualifying for admission to Bachelor studies is 172000, representing 33.6% of the total number of candidates who wrote exams.

“We will be the first to concede that, despite the notable stability of and improvements in the system, we are yet to cross our own Rubicon.

“We must agree that much has been achieved, but much more needs to be done in the areas of efficiency and quality.

“In celebrating the Class of 2018, I must also thank the principals, teachers, and parents for the work they continue to do,” Motshekga said.

A number of Western Cape pupils were invited to the special ceremony where their achievements were celebrated.

Justine Lara Crook Mansour from Rustenburg Girls’ High School was the top-performing matric in the country in Quintile 5, despite losing her father during her preliminary examinations.

Quintile 1 is the group of schools in each province catering for the poorest 20% of learners. Quintile 2 schools cater for the next poorest 20% of schools, and so on.

Quintile 5 schools are those schools that cater for the least poor 20% of learners.

Rustenburg Girls Principal Michael Gates said the school was immensely proud of Justine’s excellent results.

“She was driven and completely dedicated to achieving the high standards that she set for herself, not only in academics, but on the sports field and in achieving a Gold Standard in the President’s Award.

“Justine has made full use of the learning opportunities offered to her, even when undergoing personal struggles. This is indicative of the success she will achieve when she sets her mind to it,” Gates said.

Justine was Rustenburg’s 2018 Dux Scholar and consistently achieved an aggregate of over 95%.

In her matric year she was awarded prizes for English home language, Afrikaans first additional language, mathematics, life orientation, physical science, and French second additional language.

In addition, she was presented with the Karen Wiese Trophy, which is awarded to someone who, in the opinion of her peers, has overcome great difficulty with dignity.