OPPOSITION parties have slammed the drop in the matric pass rate, from 62,5percent last year to 60,7percent this year, with the IFP describing the decline as signaling an education system in crisis.
But unbelievably, the ANC Youth League described the pass rate as "progress".
"The progress made provides a firm foundation for the intensification of teaching and learning within the context of prioritised education," league spokesperson Floyd Shivambu said.
The DA and Azapo described the results as "terrible".
Azapo president Mosibudi Mangena said South Africans were getting used to low pass rates.
"In the process we are wasting hundreds of thousands of our young (people) every year," Mangena said.
DA MP Junita Kloppers-Lourens said the decline in the pass rate was "dismal". She said the results constituted a 10percent decline in the pass rate since 2004.
"There can be no more important area of public policy for a developing country than the standards of education provided in its schools," she said.
"So the dismal results show quite categorically that where it matters most the ANC cannot even hope to address a country's education needs."
Cope Youth Movement leader Anele Mda described the pass rate as mediocre, blaming the South African Democratic Teachers' Union (Sadtu).
"The results should not surprise us as the education department continued to let loose Sadtu members to be politicians when election time comes ... this with less concern about pupils losing out," Mda said.
IFP education spokesperson Alfred Mpontshane said the results showed an education system in crisis.
"Our matrics are failing in large numbers not because our children have suddenly become less intelligent, but because there is erratic distribution of resources," Mpontshane said.
Haniff Hoosen, ID spokesperson on education, described the pass rate as "pathetic".