The class of 2016 got an average of 72.5% pass rate, an increase of 1.8% from 70.7% in 2015. A total of 610 178 full-time candidates wrote the national matric exams this year.
The department says the class of 2016 has proven that the system is improving and moving in the right direction.
CapeTalk's Kieno Kammies spoke to Prof Elbi Henning, Research chair, Faculty of Education at the University of Johannesburg.
According to Henning, the focus should be on foundation phase education and not the matric results.
She says it is important that children are taught to read maths and science at the foundation phase rather than start dealing with it when they are in matric.
Language is a stepping stone to expressing yourself clearly. The kids write matric exams in English and we might as well teach them to read maths and science and to think maths and science as well as using English.— Prof Elbi Henning, Research chair at the University of Johannesburg
Henning says when children are taught English it should not only be for reading stories and writing about how they feel. From the very beginning, the focus should be on developing a better understanding of maths and science.
I think that helps a lot because the structure is the English language, the way its sentences are made up. Its quite tough for people who don't grow up with it so we want to make a big thing of it from Grade 4 onward.— Prof Elbi Henning, Research chair at the University of Johannesburg
To hear more on helping children read maths and science, please listen below: