Picture: Chris Collingridge

Johannesburg - The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) has congratulated the matric class of 2017 on their results announced this week.

Cosatu had noted the release of the grade 12 results for 2017 and also that the national senior certificate pass rate was 75.1 percent with progressed pupils and 76.5 percent without progressed pupils, Cosatu national spokesman Sizwe Pamla said on Saturday.

"We congratulate all the students who have passed their 2017 matric examinations and offer our solidarity and support to all those who did not succeed. We encourage them to pick themselves up and try again," he said

"We acknowledge the thousands of teachers who continue to dedicate themselves to their work of reducing and ultimately eradicating [the] illiteracy rate among young people and in this country. Under difficult circumstances teachers continue to contribute to the eradication of the legacy of apartheid in our education system."

These results should encourage teachers' unions, parents, and civil society to work together with government to improve not just the quantity, but also the quality of the results for 2018.

"We are still faced with a challenge of eliminating the two-tier education system that contributes to our widening inequalities. Government needs to take full ownership and better manage the distribution of resources, including scholar transport, school feeding scheme, and provision of learner teacher support materials (LTSM)," he said.

The basic education department should also ensure that resources, such as language centres, science laboratories, and libraries were provided to all schools, especially those from previously disadvantaged communities. Teachers should be permanently employed and be paid decent salaries, while at the same time stakeholders should work together to improve the governance of the school system.

Cosatu would continue to lobby government to create an environment conducive to teaching and learning by providing the necessary tools, Pamla said.

African News Agency/ANA