The Matric Class of 2023 has set a historic record with an outstanding pass rate of 82.9%, marking the highest achievement in the history of the National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations. More than 890,000 full-time and part-time candidates participated in the exams conducted by the Department of Basic Education at the end of 2023.

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga announced on Thursday that 572,983 candidates successfully passed the 2023 NSC exams. While the numerical pass rate is the second-highest in the history of NSC exams, the percentage pass rate is the highest ever, showing a remarkable improvement of 2.8% and 6.5% compared to the Classes of 2022 and 2021, respectively.

Minister Motshekga commended the education sector’s progress over the past decade, with the Class of 2023 achieving an 80.1% pass rate, surpassing the 2022 and 2021 results of 76.4% and 80.1%, respectively.

The provincial breakdown reveals notable achievements, with the Free State leading at 89.0%, KwaZulu-Natal improving by 3.4% to achieve 86.4%, and the Eastern Cape emerging as the second most improved province with an 81.4% pass rate, a commendable 4.1% increase from the previous year.

Furthermore, the Class of 2023 secured the highest number of Bachelor passes in NSC history, with 40.9% of candidates qualifying for university Bachelor’s degree studies. Diploma level passes accounted for 27.2% of candidates, Higher Certificates at 14.8%, and National Senior Certificate passes at 0.01%.

Minister Motshekga praised the resilience of the Class of 2023, acknowledging their ability to overcome substantial challenges, including the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic during their high school years. She emphasized the improved pass rate as a testament to the collaborative efforts of all sectors within the education system, urging continued support and intervention programs to address teaching and learning losses.

As the Eastern Cape celebrates its significant improvement, the overall success of the Matric Class of 2023 sets a promising precedent for the continued enhancement of South Africa’s education system.

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