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Zuma congratulates class of 2014

President Jacob Zuma has welcomed the results, congratulating pupils, teachers, parents & governing bodies.

South Africa's top performing matric pupils were honoured at the announcement of the 2014 national and provincial matric pass rate results. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - President Jacob Zuma has congratulated the class of 2014, saying they are a special category of pupils who wrote their final exams as the country celebrated 20 years of democracy.

Zuma has welcomed the results, congratulating teachers, parents and governing bodies for their contribution throughout the schooling year.

The Presidency's Mac Maharaj says, "South Africa is especially proud of the class of 2014, as they represent a special category of learners who sat through their examinations as the country celebrated 20 years of freedom and democracy. We wish the new matriculants all the best for the future, said the president."

The 2014 matric results were released on Monday evening, with the pass rate dropping to 75.8 percent for the first group of pupils who wrote the new Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statements (CAPS) exams.

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga announced the national and provincial pass rates in Johannesburg on Monday evening, expressing her disappointment at the 2. 4 percentage points drop compared to the pass rate in 2013.

Education experts had predicted the decrease, attributing it to the new CAPS curriculum.

The pass rate has steadily increased since 2010 and in 2013 matrics achieved the highest pass rate in post-apartheid South Africa.

Education expert Mary Metcalfe says this is due to the change in curriculum.

"This is the first year of the new curriculum and there have been major changes to the format and structure of some of the question papers. There are particular subjects where there've also been changes to the content."

But the Basic Education minister has defended the new curriculum.

"There is now doubt that over the next few years, the system will adapt to these changes and teachers, examiners and subject advisors will become more confident and we will reap the benefits of the quality outcomes of the system."

RESULTS BY PROVINCE

Gauteng came out tops this time with 84.7 percent, still down 2.3 percent from the previous year.

Gauteng is followed by the North West, which achieved an 84.6 percent pass rate, followed by the Free State with 82.8 percent and then the Western Cape with 82.2 percent.

The worst performing province was the Eastern Cape, which achieved 65.4 percent.

Motshekga also raised concerns about the major drop in KwaZulu-Natal.

"KwaZulu-Natal achieved 69.7 percent from 77.4 percent, a huge decline of 7.7 percent, which is the steepest decline in all the provinces than what we've experienced this year. And therefore, we've agreed that we'll work with the province to look seriously at the factors that affected the performance in KwaZulu-Natal."

RESULTS FOR THE REST OF THE COUNTRY:

Mpumalanga 79 percent

Northern Cape 76.4 percent

Limpopo 72.9 percent

ACCESSING RESULTS

Most schools will be open this morning to hand over the results to and they have been published in the newspapers.

For the first time however, names have not been published only ID numbers with the results.

The results are also available online; pupils can go to _ EWN's Matric portal and just type in their exam number._

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