Media Release
Minister of Education Donald Grant
Western Cape

4 January, 2012

2011 NSC: Class of 2011 does the Western Cape proud

Statement by Minister Donald Grant, Minister of Education, Western Cape

It is with great pleasure that I announce the details of the performance of the Western Cape in the 2011 National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations.

The Class of 2011 has done themselves and the Western Cape Province proud by achieving a percentage pass rate of 82.9% in the 2011 NSC examinations. This is an increase of 6.1% over the percentage pass rate attained in 2010.

The matric pass rate in this province has improved from 75.7% in 2009 to 76.8% in 2010 and 82.9% in 2011. This makes the Western Cape the top performing province in the country.

This result, amongst others, is significant as it indicates that progress is being made in improving the education outcomes of learners in the Western Cape. This is in stark contrast to the decline that was the case between 2004 and 2009 when the percentage pass rate steadily dropped from 85.01% in 2004 to 75.7% in 2009.

While the percentage pass rate is an important indicator when assessing the NSC, we must also consider other indicators such as the quantity and quality of passes. This gives a far better picture of the health and progress of the education system.

In this instance, the Western Cape has again achieved some substantial improvements in 2011.

Of the 41 212 full-time candidates that enrolled in the 2011 NSC, a total of 39 988 candidates sat the exams, of which, 33 146 passed.

If we consider the quantity of passes in the 2011 NSC, there is much to be proud of.

We too can be proud of the quality of passes achieved.

In 2011, we exceeded our previous record of the number of candidates who have achieved access to Bachelor Degree study. 801 more learners qualified in 2011 than in 2010. This number has steadily increased over the last three years with the total number eligible increasing from 14 324 in 2009 to 14 414 in 2010 and 15 215 in 2011 (i.e. a percentage increase of 6.5% from 2010 to 2011).

Another key indicator of the quality of passes is the number of candidates who passed with distinctions and the number of mathematics and science passes achieved.

In 2011, 68.7% of candidates passed their mathematics exam, compared to 66% in 2010.

In physical sciences, the percentage pass rate improved substantially from 59.6% to 65.3% an increase of 5.7%.

Other key improvements include increases in the number of schools that achieved 90% or more (191 compared to 174 in 2010), and schools that achieved 80% or more (269 compared to 224 in 2010).

But one of the really noteworthy results to come out of the 2011 NSC is the significant improvements made in reducing the number of 'underperforming schools' (Schools that achieved a percentage pass rate of less than 60% in 2010) in the Province.

This is significant as it indicates that improvements are being made not only at the top-end of the system, but also at many of our previously disadvantaged and poorer schools. Sensible systems management has now shown positive results with the number of underperforming public high schools dropping by more than 60% from 78 in 2010 to 30 in 2011.

This is a pleasing achievement and is indicative of proper systems improvement.

On behalf of the Western Cape Government I would like to congratulate all our Grade 12 learners who took up all learning opportunities made available to them in preparation for these NSC examinations. Your hard work and commitment have paid off!

We are pleased with the overall outcome of the 2011 NSC examinations.

We believe that the progress made in improving education outcomes in the Western Cape since 2009 is the product of a maturing provincial education system and can be sustained through the continued promotion and protection of teaching and learning time.

In 2012, we will continue along this path, aware of the many areas that still need to be improved and the challenges that still yet to be faced.

But tonight, we celebrate the improvements made in education in the Western Cape and toast our Class of 2011 for doing us all proud!

For enquiries, contact Bronagh Casey:  072 724 1422 or

Audio files:

Western Cape Matric 2011 Results

    Click here to listen to the sound file (01:53 minutes, 222 KB, "mp3" format) or download the 'zipped' file.
    Druk hier om te luister na die klank lêre (02:52 minute, 338 KB, "mp3" formaat) of stoor die 'zipped' lêre.

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2012 Western Cape Education Department