The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) has raised concerns about the quality of the country’s matric certificate and has called on authorities to raise the bar.

According to CEO Neren Rau: “The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) congratulates the matric class of 2013 and wishes these school leavers the best of luck in their future endeavours. South Africa stands to gain enormously from a well-motivated and educated group of young people.

“Sacci however does remain concerned over the quality of the matric certificate owing to the relatively low pass requirements.

“The matric certificate should be a fundamental signal to the labour market that a school leaver can perform in at least a low-skilled position. Sadly this is no longer the case given a growing body of evidence of ill-equipped school leavers as reported by the business community.

“Periodical international comparisons have also shown that the standard of public education in South Africa is extremely poor, so merely raising the pass requirements is not enough. More needs to be done to ensure that qualified teachers are supported and on the job throughout the year and that the syllabus content is of a high standard.

“Sacci calls on the Department of Basic Education to raise the pass requirement for matric, but also to introduce national exams at grade 7 and 10 whose results will also be made public.”