The KwaZulu-Natal Education Department is targeting another 10 percentage point increase, which would put the matric pass rate in the province at 80%.
The exams are expected to start on October 15 with computer applications technology, followed by information technology, Eastern languages and English.
Thirona Moodley of the National Professional Teachers’ Organisation of South Africa (Naptosa) said individual schools had put in a lot of work in preparation for positive results.
“We are expecting positive results. The teachers have done all they can and all that remains is for the pupils to get out there and write,” said Moodley.
“We have not heard of any glitches and the programme that the department set up, (winter classes and boot camps) seems to have gone very well because the reports we have received said they were well attended,” she said.
Department spokesperson Muzi Mahlambi said the department had gone to great lengths to ensure pupils would be ready for the exams.
MEC Mthandeni Dlungwane is expected to give a media briefing on the state of readiness next Tuesday.
“Even if the results we get are slightly below expectations, the results should reflect the work we have put in and the improvements we have made over the year,” said Mahlambi.
“The tests that were written in March, June and September also made us hopeful that we would do well. And the enthusiasm shown by teachers and pupils in attending the extra classes has been very encouraging,” he said.
Sadtu provincial secretary Nomarashiya Caluza said: “Our teachers have done their work. Pupils have been taught and we believe they are ready.”
She said Sadtu was assisting with revision material and would be holding a prayer for the Grade 12 pupils in KwaNongoma.
Earlier this year, there were fears that “progressed” pupils could pull down the matric pass rate as they were struggling. KwaZulu-Natal alone has more than 30 000 of them.