The top matriculants in the province were honoured by Premier Helen Zille at the annual National Senior Certificate awards at Leeuwenhof in Gardens last week.
Pupils, teachers and parents were all praised for their hard work.
Ms Zille said retention rates were critical in calculating the real pass rates. “I am quite happy that we are improving on the basis of keeping people in schools and making sure that they achieve the best. But it’s not nearly good enough.”
She encouraged pupils to contribute to the growth of the country. “It is about transferring all your great skills into new situations, to help South Africa to become the country we all know we can become. An example to the world.”
Brian Shreuder, head of the Western Cape Department of Education, said they wished to develop the full potential of every pupil.
“We must solicit the support of all communities to keep schools and surrounds safe to ensure an environment conducive to learning.
“We must focus on the skills required for the next 30 years, the skills of the future. We want to move from being a good education department to being a great department. We don’t want to compete against other provinces, we want to compete against ourselves,” he said.
Education MEC Debbie Schafer congratulated the schools and pupils who were recognised at the ceremony.
She said that 16.8% of schools in the Western Cape achieved a 100% pass rate, while more than 40% of schools achieved a pass rate of 90% or above.
Eighteen schools in the province also achieved a 95% Bachelor’s pass rate.
“I am proud of our schools that worked hard and consistently throughout the year, and in fact for many years. I would also like to specially mention schools that are plagued by gangsterism, violence and poor socio-economic circumstances, and yet have improved their results significantly,” she said.
“Results like the ones represented here today do not happen by accident. It takes dedication and commitment throughout your entire school career, and a special focus in your matric year. Well done – your hard work has paid off.”
The province’s top two matriculants also nabbed first and second place in the country: Janke van Dyk from Bellville High School was the top achiever while Matthys Carstens from Durbanville High School placed second.