Picture: Simphiwe Mbokazi African News Agency/ANA

Port Elizabeth - The ANC on Friday welcomed the 2018 matric results as an affirmation of the progress in transforming education in South Africa and the improved outcomes especially in provinces that have under-performed in previous years.

“The 2018 results are an affirmation that the painstaking process to transform our education system and the significant investment we make every year are bearing fruit,” the ruling party said after Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga’s announcement on Thursday.

“We extend our heartfelt congratulations and good wishes to all the learners who worked tirelessly to raise the bar in the 2018 matric outcomes,” the ruling party said, adding that those who were not successful should not give up but “work harder” and “use the options available to them”.

However, the ANC said that the drop in the performances of the Northern Cape as well as the Western Cape this year, must be addressed to improve their performance in the coming year.

The Northern Cape obtained a 75.2%, pass rate, a decline of 2.4% from 77.6% in 2017. In 2016, the Northern Cape obtained an 82.2% pass rate. The Western Cape dropped from 83.2%, a decline of 1.2% from 84.4% achieved in 2017, reports from previous years said.

The party said it was committed to quality education that would respond adequately to the demands of transforming the economy and to the needs of the fourth industrial revolution.

“We have come a long way in realising access, redress and equity in education and we must stay the course by placing greater emphasis on quality teaching and learning outcomes, enhance the skills and competencies of educators and enhancing accountability systems to ensure the achievement of quality outcomes,” the party said, adding that the challenges ahead were enormous.

The ANC also called on civil society to assume a positive role by ensuring that all learners have access to learning and teaching at all times.

It condemned those who jeopardised their opportunities through closing or burning schools during service delivery protests.

“As a nation, we must find each other and rally behind a common vision that propels us forward and guarantees the future of our learners. For this reason, education remains an apex priority of the ANC.”

The party also commended the parents, school governing bodies, educators and broader civil society for their “invaluable support system to the learners”.

African News Agency/ANA