201110 Students writing their matric exams at the Sena-Marena High School in Soweto. As the grade 12 national senior certificate exams enters its fifth week, concerns that the standards of exam papers have dropped have been raised. . 140910. picture: Chris Collingridge 637

The Eastern Cape's 2012 matric results were “one step backwards and two steps forward”, provincial education MEC Mandla Makupula said on Thursday.

“The 2012 matric results depict one thing: we have taken one step backward and two steps forward, moving along with ordinary people,” Makupula said in a statement.

He was proud of the improved pass rate for the province, one of the worst performers in South Africa, to 61.6 percent, from 58.1 in 2011.

He said the last time the province got more than 60 percent was in 2003, when it managed 61.1 percent.

Several districts showed big improvements, in particularly Libode with a pass rate of 59.4 percent, up from 19.5 percent in 2011.

Butterworth had an increase of 8.1 percent to 53.9 percent in 2012. Sterkspruit improved eight percent to 56.1 percent.

The top performing districts were Cofimvaba, with a pass rate of 72.5 percent, Cradock with a pass rate of 72.3 percent, and Maluti with 71.9 percent.

The three worst performing districts were Fort Beaufort with 44.7 percent, Qumbu with 49.1 percent and Mt Frere with 49.6


Makupula said while several districts improved their passes, other saw substantial drops. The largest of these was Qumbu, dropping 10.3 percent to 49.1 percent.

Makupula said there were 30 schools in the province with a 100 percent pass rate.

Eleven schools had a pass rate of 10 percent or below. The three lowest performers were Dlulisa Senior Secondary School in Butterworth, with 4.5 percent, Mpingana in Lusikisiki with 4.7

percent, and Dilizintaba with a 5.3 percent matric pass rate.

“For the first time in many years, there are no schools with a zero percent pass rate,” Makupula said. - Sapa