Twenty-eight female guards were unfairly dismissed by a security company because the client‚ Metrora.
GAUTENG education MEC Barbara Creecy has taken responsibility for the drop in the matric pass rate in the province.
"I don't want to lay blame. Blame and responsibility stops here," Creecy said yesterday at the Jeppe High School for Girls in Johannesburg.
The province's pass rate dropped from 76,4percent in 2008 to 71,8percent in 2009. There were 98659 pupils who wrote matric exams last year and 70871 passed.
Creecy, who has been in office for six months, said: "There are deep structural problems in the system. The quality of young people in high school are not what we want."
She said one of the biggest problems was that teachers had to deal with administrative work.
"In our estimation at least between 400 and 500 schools had faced disruptions during the year. There is also a high rate of absenteeism by teachers and pupils, " Creecy said.
"Though we have some of the most well-qualified teachers in the country, we still face a lot of problems.
"Being well qualified does not mean that they are able to deal with teaching methods. We have to improve teacher training."
She complained that the high rate of failures were from independent schools.
"A large percentage of schools that achieve less than 25percent are independent schools. We will be meeting them to understand their learner performance improvement plans and make it clear to them that their registration can be suspended if substantial improvements in matric results do not take place at the end of 2010."