The Gauteng department of education is ready to increase its number of no-fee schools from the current 400 to about 1000.
Announcing departmental key priorities for this year, education MEC Angie Motshekga said that since the introduction of the no-fee system last year, more than 378000 pupils from 426 schools have benefited.
Motshekga said the no-fee status would be extended to category 3 schools from April 1 and more than 49percent or 865000 pupils in about 1055 schools would benefit.
Those schools would receive the national maximum adequacy amount of R775 per child.
The announcement is part of the government plan to ensure that pupils from poor backgrounds have access to education.
Motshekga said the department was committed to support last year's matriculants who failed. A total of 20000 pupils have been targeted for support under the matric rewrite programme.
"By Monday, about 12000 pupils had registered to be on the programme. The exams will take place from May 5. A total of 51 centres have been identified for tuition by appointed service providers," said Motshekga.
The department said the failed pupils would receive tuition in two subjects at a total of 32 hours a subject between February and May. Classes would be offered on Saturdays.
The MEC also said the performance of adult students at Level 4 exams was poor and that there was a high adult pupil dropout. The level 4 is equivalent to Grade 9.
"As failed matriculants are not allowed to repeat the grade, this has resulted in a growing number of pupils registering at adult centres. The department has developed a strategy to transform the ABET sector to become more efficient and effective," she said.