Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga announced that Gauteng’s matrics were the top performers in 2014, making Gauteng the leading province according to last year’s matric results.
Gauteng’s matrics achieved an 84.7% pass rate which is 8.9% above the 75.8% national average. The national pass rate has dropped by 2.4% from last year’s 78.2%, and Gauteng’s rate has also declined by 2.3% from 2013’s 87% pass rate. The pass rates of five provinces, including Gauteng, dropped while the other four provinces experienced slight progress compared to the previous year. The poorest recorded performance was in the Eastern Cape, with a 65.4% pass rate, a mere 0.5% increase from 2013. The second poorest performer was Kwa-Zulu Natal at a pass rate of 69.7%, a steep decline of 7.7% from 2013’s rate of 77.4%. Kwa-Zulu Natal showed the steepest decline among all the provinces. Limpopo achieved 72.9%, the Northern Cape achieved 76.4%, Mpumalanga attained 79%, the Western Cape got 82.2%, the Free State got 82.8%, and the North West had the second-highest pass rate at 84.6%.
Gauteng is the centre for learning in South Africa and home to six of South Africa’s top ranking universities – the University of the Witwatersrand, the University of Pretoria, the University of South Africa, the Tshwane University of Technology, the University of Johannesburg, and the Medical University of South Africa (a part of the University of Limpopo). Gauteng also has over a dozen private tertiary institutions with national and international affiliations. As a result, competition is fierce due to eager matriculants who study hard to get the qualifying results for university entrance in order to gain admittance into a suitable tertiary institution.
South Africa is a leader in education in Africa and although the declining results have triggered disappointment within the Department of Education and among citizens, South Africa is committed to improving education standards. Education and health were emphasised as priorities in Gauteng during the National Budget Speech in 2014 with R32.8 billion allocated to education during the year, a 7% increase from 2013. With sustained efforts and another predicted increase in the education budget for 2015, Gauteng is set to continue to lead South Africa in education.