Harrison apologised profusely on behalf of the school.

Johannesburg - Sacci on Tuesday expressed concern over the quality of the matric certificate owing to the relatively low pass requirements.

“The matric certificate should be a fundamental signal to the labour market that a school leaver can perform in at least a low-skilled position,” SA Chamber of Commerce and Industry spokesman Pietman Roos said in a statement.

He said the business community had reported a growing number of ill-equipped school leavers. The chamber called on the education department to raise the pass requirement for matric and to introduce national exams at grade seven and 10.

“Periodical international comparisons have shown that the standard of public education in South Africa is extremely poor, so merely raising the pass requirements is not enough.”

Roos suggested that qualified teachers be supported and more should be done to ensure the syllabus was of a high standard.

He congratulated the matric class of 2013 and wished pupils the best in their future endeavours.

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga announced a 78.2 percent pass rate for the 2013 matric class on Monday.

In 2009, when Motshekga took over as minister, the pass rate was 60.6 percent. It has climbed steadily since then. - Sapa