Cape Town - The Overberg has been named one of the top school districts in the country.

The district was among 37 out of 81 in the country to achieve a pass rate of 80 percent or above in the 2013 National Senior Certificate (NSC) exams and, according to Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga, was among “the leaders of the pack”.

Motshekga was speaking at the inaugural education districts excellence awards ceremony, held in Sandton last week,

The Overberg achieved a 90 percent matric pass rate in 2013.

The other top districts were Sedibeng East in Gauteng (90.7 percent), Ngaka Modiri Molema in North West (90.5), Gauteng West (90.1) and Joburg West (89.6).

At the ceremony the Overberg district was honoured with an award in the category “Improved Bachelor passes (over four years)”.

The number of matriculants in the district who achieved passes which could gain them access to Bachelor degree studies increased by 3.9 percent over this period.

Last year 39.4 percent of pupils who wrote the NSC exam in the Overberg achieved such passes.

Two other districts - Thabo Mofutsanyana in the Free State (4.1 percent improvement) and Joburg Central (3.3 percent) - were also honoured in this category.

The Overberg was the only school district in the Western Cape to receive an award.

Overberg district director Bertram Loriston said the district’s success could not be attributed to just one reason or intervention.

“The relationships our schools have built with their parents and the relationship between the district and the schools play a big role.”

He said that in the past three years none of the high schools in the district had been classified as underperforming (schools that achieve a matric pass rate of below 60 percent).

The Department of Basic Education said the awards were aimed at honouring top performing districts, districts that increased their overall percentage pass by more than 10 percent in the 2013 NSC, districts that increased university entrance attainment and districts that improved overall performance in physical science and maths.

Motshekga said:

* Seventy-one of the 81 districts had improved their performance (in the NSC).

* Seven districts ( down from 10 to 2012) had continued to achieve pass rates of below 60 percent.

* Ten of the 81 districts had registered a decrease in results ranging between 0.1 and 5.3 percent.

Cape Argus