Ecstatic matriculants return to school to collect their results

Nerves are running high among Western Cape matrics who will only receive their results later.

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga announces the national matric pass rate for 2015. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Tens of thousands of matric pupils are returning to their schools this morning to collect their National Senior Certificates, while those from the Western Cape have until midday to get their individual results from their schools.

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga announced last night that 70.7 percent of matriculants passed the 2015 academic year, that's a drop of 5 percentage points from the previous year and a second consecutive decrease.

KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo and the Eastern Cape are the worst performing provinces.

Although many pupils know that they have passed, there's still excitement at receiving their matric certificate which signifies the end of an era.

Kelebogile Mabe, who hopes to study politics and philosophy, had mixed emotions, but was relieved to have completed high school.

"I was happy, but at the same time disappointed because I didn't get what I hoped I'd get. I'm glad that I'm done with this chapter and that I'm going to start a new one."

Mechanical engineering hopeful Makhundi Matitseng said success came with its sacrifices.

"I put countless sleepless nights, I'm just happy because I worked hard, stayed after school doing work."

Pupils have until 11am this morning to collect their documents.

At the same time, the nerves are running high among Western Cape matriculants who will receive their results in at 12pm from their schools.

Some of the pupils say it's a nail-biting wait.

"After weeks of waiting, it's exciting to finally good to know what you got in the exams, also the nerves of finding out how bad or well you performed. You don't know what to expect because you in so much effort and it's not your teacher marking, so it's a different ballgame."

Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi has thanked all teachers and principals who contributed to the 2015 matric pass rate.

"And we want to thank you very much for the performance of our learners who could not have done it alone as he department. And for you to be with us, we're deeply humbled."

Lesufi is expected to announce the provincial matric outcomes at the Rhema Bible Church in Randburg this morning.

ANC EXPRESSES DELIGHT

The African National Congress (ANC) says while it notes the drop in the matric pass rate, the fact that the class of 2015 was the biggest group to sit for the exams in South Africa's history, is a sign that policies to ensure access to education are working.

Almost 800,000 pupils wrote the latest matric exams, marking a new record.

The ANC's Khusela Sangoni says its efforts have paved the way for more pupils to gain university access.

"In terms of the number of a young children who've managed to pass the exams we believe it's a victory. We'd have liked to see an upward trajectory of the pass rate but the numbers on their own speaks for themselves, so more young people passed this year never before, so that on its own is great achievement."

The National Professional Teachers' Organisation of South Africa (Naptosa) is calling for an investigation into the root causes of the decrease in the pass rate and whether it has to do with a higher academic standard.

Naptosa's Anthea Cereseto says there are a number of concerns that need to be addressed.

"The vigor of examinations were increased, however, it would appear that the cognitive demand is greater than our learners can manage. And what we really asking for is a thorough investigation into the root causes of not being able to meet the high academic standards."

Click here to _ visit EWN's matric portal_ to view the results.