Education stakeholders in KwaZulu-Natal yesterday called on all concerned parties to unite to improve the standard of education in the province.
In KwaZulu-Natal 136796 pupils sat for the outcomes-based matric exams but only 79068 passed.
Teacher unions said teachers' allowances in areas where 45percent of schools are situated must be distributed immediately.
The national government gazetted the allowances in January 2008 but no payment has been made.
KwaZulu-Natal Sadtu general secretary Sipho Nkosi said resources at township and rural schools would improve the pass rate and should be a priority.
"There are still schools that have no science labs and other key resources," Nkosi said.
"Parents and communities must also play a part. They must attend meetings and make a positive contribution."
He also said the department should take teacher training "very seriously".
National Teachers Union deputy president Allen Thompson said rural allowances were " incentives for teachers to perform".
He said a large number of pupils who are going to write supplementary exams needed serious revision and remedial work to pass.
"Special intervention by the department to provide revision classes over weekends and during the Easter holidays is crucial," Thompson said.
KwaZulu-Natal Parents Association chairman Fayed Rajack said the department was responsible for "a culture of no learning by allowing corrupt teachers to get away with disgusting acts such as rape".
He said they knew of instances in which teachers were charged with rape and suspended with full pay for years while their cases were being investigated.
Rajack also blamed the bad pass rate on schools that were forced to close because teachers use pupils to fight their battles and to cause chaos.