Cape Town 100511. MEC Donald Grant addresses the media on the new Own your future billboard campaign at Masiyile senior school in Khayelitsha. PHOTO SAM CLARK, CA and CT.

Cape Town - The Western Cape saw an improvement in its Grade 3, 6 and 9 maths and literacy results in independent testing, the provincial education department said on Monday.

Education MEC Donald Grant said over 250 000 pupils were tested in October last year for their comprehension and understanding of key concepts.

The results were compared with those from 2011, based on a pass requirement of 50 percent.

He said Grade 3 language had the most notable outcome with a jump in the pass rate from 30.4 percent in 2011 to 38.9 percent in 2012.

Grade 6 language results increased from 31.5 percent to 36.9 percent, while the pass rate for Grade 9 increased from 44.2 percent to 48.2 percent.

For mathematics, the pass rate in Grade 3 increased from 46.6 percent to 51.5 percent. Grade 6 pupils had a pass rate of 26.4 percent for 2012, up from 23.4 percent.

A total of 13.9 percent of Grade 9 maths pupils passed the diagnostic test, compared to 10.9 percent in 2011.

Grant said the increase indicated progress but that a lot still needed to be done.

“We were aware in 2009 that our strategy to improve literacy and numeracy would take time. We in fact stated that it would take 10 years before we would be satisfied with the levels of outcomes in these areas.”

Department head Penny Vinjevold said the tests had to be credible in the public eye and had, therefore, been independently administered, tested and marked by external service providers.

She said schools and district staff would analyse the results in the coming weeks, to adapt and improve their learning strategy.

Grant said the key was to improve support to the necessary schools through training and resources. - Sapa