Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga at the release of the 2017 matric results. PHOTO: Lindi Masinga/ANA

Johannesburg - The African National Congress has congratulated the Matric Class of 2017 for the improvement in the results of the National Senior Certificate examinations announced on Thursday evening, saying it represented the outcome of years of toil, dedication and determination by the pupils, educators, parents and other education stakeholders over a concerted period of time, all of whom should be justifiably proud of the fruits of their effort.

The results, which were released by Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga on Thursday, showed that the matric pass rate with progressed pupils included, stands at 75.1 percent, a 2.6 percent improvement from the 72.5 percent achieved in 2016.  

Despite the improvement, Motshekga conceded that more still needs to be done to improve the level of education in South Africa despite a number of gains in the last few years. 

Read: #MatricResults2017: 'NSC pass rate consistently above 70% threshold'

#MatricResults2017: NSC 2017 pass rate is 75.1% - Motshekga

"We will be the first to concede that despite the notable stability of and improvements in our 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," Motshekga said. 

The ANC commended the Free State province for once again being named as the best performing province with an almost 90% pass rate, albeit this represented a decline from the 2016 results. 

"The Free State’s consistent excellence is and must remain an inspiration for all. We are particularly heartened by the reported increase in the results of the Eastern Cape, Limpopo and KwaZulu-Natal. While much more still remains to be done, their performance this year is indicative of the ability and will to do much better. 

"The African National Congress salutes the Ministry of Basic Education, the educators and all societal partners for indeed making education a societal issue. We commend to them those students who may not have fared well this year and urge them to take up the opportunities at a second chance offered by government. The remarkable achievements of the most vulnerable children in our society in these exams demonstrates the strides we are making as a nation to improve access, redress, equity, efficiency, and the quality of teaching and learning."

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African News Agency/ANA