President Cyril Ramaphosa praised the achievements of the matriculants of 2023. He highlighted that their success shows the effects of the strides made to enhance education. SANews reports that the President underlined the consistent improvement in the matric exam pass rate over the past decade, reaching 82.9% in 2023. He stressed the power of education. He said it was a critical tool in breaking the cycle of poverty.
“The class of 2023 has made our nation proud. The matric results released last week showed an 82.9% pass rate for the cohort of matriculants who sat for the NSC exam last year. This is the highest pass rate obtained since the NSC was introduced in 2008 and is a stellar achievement,” he said.
President Ramaphosa pointed out that the democratic State provides various forms of social protection to support vulnerable learners, including:
- Early Childhood Development,
- social grants,
- a nationwide school nutrition programme, and
- no-fee schools.
Government investments in improving school infrastructure, teacher and learner support materials, and the National Student Financial Aid Scheme also ensure educational opportunities.
“While we are proud of all our matriculants, we are particularly proud of the young people who have succeeded in the face of great hardship and adversity.”
The President acknowledged the achievements of learners facing various challenges, including:
- those with disabilities,
- childcare grant beneficiaries,
- learners from child-headed households,
- those from informal settlements and
- those from some of the poorest districts in the country.
Social grant beneficiaries accounted for a significant number of top-performing learners. Matriculants receiving some form of social grant in 2023 achieved more than 160,000 distinctions.
“Of those who have now completed their secondary education, some will go on to further their studies and others will seek employment. I encourage all of society to reward the achievements of the many young people who have successfully passed secondary school by making more opportunities available to them.”
President Ramaphosa called on businesses to:
- invest in the nation’s future by employing more young people,
- eliminating the requirement of prior work experience where possible and
- participating in initiatives such as the Employee Tax Incentive and the Youth Employment Service.
“For the many young people from disadvantaged backgrounds who passed matric this year, the President emphasisedemphasised that being given an opportunity to work or study further is a way out of poverty. He further urged that these young people must be given the hope and chance they need.”
“As a country, we have laid the important groundwork for equitable access to education and ensured that young people are supported to finish school. It is now up to all of society to work together to ensure that every South African, young and old, is lifted out of poverty, given access to decent work and an opportunity to fulfil their true potential,” the President said.
Picture: X / PresidencyZA
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