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More pupils may be passing matric but they do not possess adequate maths and science skills. (Delwyn Verasamy, M&G)

Every year the South African education community joins the nation in collective soul-searching and celebration when matric – or formally, the National Senior Certificate (NSC) – results are released. National interest in the results is no surprise, as we all – parents, community, business, government – have a stake in what they reveal. For many, the NSC represents a snapshot of the state of education in the country.

While we share in celebrating the increasing number of young South Africans who pass the NSC, we are concerned about their performance in the gateway subjects of mathematics and physical science.

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