"We are deeply concerned by the truly shocking dropout figures that put the real matric pass rate at 37.3%, when the pass rate is calculated from the Grade 10 class of 2015 who then passed their final school exams in 2017".
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.
She thanked all the provinces, especially Gauteng, Free State, Mpumalanga, and KwaZulu-Natal, for the extra support and pointed interventions they gave to these learners.
The wait for Western Cape matrics is finally over.
In a statement, Schäfer said that while there is a tendency to focus exclusively on the provincial pass rate - which is an important indicator - other important indicators of success also needed to be taken into consideration to determine if the system is ultimately improving or where it needs to be improved.
Ninety-nine pupils passed with a National Senior Certificate‚ which is an endorsed pass for special needs pupils‚ where five subjects need to be passed at 30%. The rest of the learners are modularising their examinations.
Candidates can get their individual results from today, with marks available from their school or the centre where they wrote their exams, major newspapers, local websites, and SMS and USSD services. This, represents a total of 401 435 candidates, who had passed the 2017 NSC examinations. Of these candidates, 534,484 full-time candidates, and 117,223 part-time candidates, wrote the 2017 NSC examinations.
The learner progression policy encourages provinces to progress or condone over-aged learners who have repeated Grade 11 a couple of times and give them extra support to sit for the NSC examinations or allow them to modularise their examinations.
"If these provinces did not do this, some of the progressed young people, could have fallen through the cracks of the system, due to continuous repetition and ultimate drop-out from the system", Minister Motshekga said.
The issue of a common curriculum between public and private schools, as well as uneven development and unequal distribution of resources among the provinces, also needed urgent attention, it said. "For the class of 2017 we had 107 430 registered progressed learners", said Motshekga. She said 31 of the 70 districts attained pass rates of 80% and above.
"Of the top 10 performing districts in the country, Tshwane South came third with 89.8% pass rate and Tshwane North fifth on 88.9%".
Free State MEC of education, Tate Makgoe, said he was very happy with the results.
Pupils in no-fee schools achieved 76300 bachelor passes while fee-paying schools produced 67867 bachelor passes. Motshekga said the improved performance of the three provinces is a direct outcome of their targeted interventions.