#MatricResults: Free State top performing province in the country

And 906 achieved bachelor passes and 789 diploma passes, while 1 956 passed with distinctions and the Western Cape accounted for 1 599 of the distinctions.

South Africa's governing ANC on Friday applauded a higher pass rate from the 2017 school ending examinations, but opposition said the results were much weaker when factoring in a worryingly high dropout rate.

The total number of candidates, who registered for the November 2017 NSC examinations, was 802,431; comprising 629,155 full-time candidates, and 173,276 part-time candidates.

The African National Congress said the National Senior Certificate examination results announced on Thursday, which showed a 75.1% pass rate, up from 72.5% in 2016, were the outcome of "years of toil, dedication and determination by the learners, educators, parents and other education stakeholders over a concerted period of time".

Motshekga said it was encouraging that pupils that came from schools with little resources were able to produced impressive results.

The top achieving province is Free State‚ recording a pass mark of 86% - down from 88.2% in 2016 when it was also the top performing province.

"We wish to thank all provinces, especially Gauteng, Free State, Mpumalanga, and KwaZulu Natal for the extra support and pointed interventions they gave to these learners".

Schäfer said learners in the province receive their results a day later due to a number of reasons.

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"To the class of 2017, we have every confidence in our 2017 NSC candidates who have worked hard throughout the school year".

There were also several major improvements in the district, with the biggest coming from Concordia High School in Knysna and Zwartberg High School in Prince Albert. She said 31 of the 70 districts attained pass rates of 80% and above.

Education MEC Debbie Schäfer said it had been a "long, anxious wait for NSC candidates". This translates to nearly 45 Bachelor passes per 100 produced anywhere else in the country, she said.

"The WCED has counsellors available across the province should candidates need assistance", Schäfer said.

During Motshekga's address, she said this year's results were a clear indication that teaching and learning in the education sector have improved.

South Africa is among the worst performers in terms of education internationally, having been placed last in Grade 8 Science and second-last in Maths out of 39 countries for the Trends in International Maths and Science Study (TIMSS) 2015.

"We have for the past few years included the learners with special education needs in tracking learner performance in the NSC".

The number of pupils who qualified for admission to university with a bachelor pass is 153‚610; the number who achieved a diploma pass for college is 161‚133; and 86‚265 obtained higher certificates (a basic pass) which allow admission to a Technical and Vocational and Training college.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)

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