Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga announced yesterday that girl pupils achieved more distinctions in their matric results than their male classmates. A big yay for girl children in South Africa!

Times Live reported that 217 387 girls passed their matric exams in 2017 and of all the distinctions attained by matric pupils, 62.6% of those were achieved by female pupils. Angie Motshekga attributes the success of 2017’s female candidates to her administration’s gender-based intervention programmes, but raises the point that the same should now be done for male candidates.

Motshekga also highlighted the fact that this ‘includes distinctions in critical subjects such as Accounting, Business Studies, Economics, Mathematics, and Physical Science’, all of which are subjects that have for a long time been (incorrectly) deemed areas of male expertise.

Plus, the top learner in Physical Science for 2017 says hi.

Yes, Timera Naidoo from Port Shepstone Secondary is a girl. And she’s off to study medicine at UKZN this year, reports Times Live.

She’s part of the 28.5% of female learners who completed grade 12 with bachelor passes (admittedly, more boys obtained bachelor passes, leading by just 0.5%).

Overall 77.2% of boys passed, which is very close to the 73.4% of girls. But our young ladies still deserve props for scooping almost two thirds of all the distinctions.


With these kinds of results, it should come as no surprise that girls continue to perform well in varsity too. A study conducted at Stellenbosch University confirmed this late last year.

Based on data from the Higher Education Management Information System, which followed the progress of the Matric class of 2008 for six years, the following was concluded about South African female students;

‘Relative to their male counterparts […] 27% more females qualified for university, 34% more enrol in university, 56% more complete any undergraduate qualification and 66% more attain a bachelor’s degree.’