Quality assurer uMalusi is delighted that there has been a steady improvement in the marks obtained by the matric class of 2017 for Mathematics‚ Mathematical Literacy‚ Physical Science and Life Sciences.
Over 800 000 candidates are awaiting the release of their matriculations results expected to be released by the Department of Basic Education on 5 January. This class of 2017 is the fourth cohort to write final examinations under the Curriculum Assessment Policy Statements (CAPS) introduced in 2013.
UMalusi has also revealed that 104 001 learners who sat the 2017 Matriculations examinations have been progress compared to the 108 942 progressed in 2016.
UMalusi Council chairperson John Volmink said this positive improvement in these key subjects could be attributed to a number of factors such as the learner support provided by the Department of Basic Education in the 11 high enrollment subjects‚ support for progressed learners and support for top achievers.
Volmink has also described this year’s matric examinations as being “incident free “adding that there was also a marked improvement in the quality of the question papers.
The progression of learners is department of Basic Education policy in terms of which learners who have failed grade 11 twice are promoted to Grade 12. This is to ensure that such learners are not kicked out of the school system without any official qualification.
There has previously been criticism that this amounted to promotion of learners who lacked the intellectual capacity to do well in matric.
However uMalusi spokesperson Lucky Ditaunyane has dismissed such criticism arguing that there is evidence that the Department of Basic Education has support mechanisms in place which have previously seen some of the progressed learners obtaining bachelor’s degree passes – i.e – a pass allowing tostudy for a university degree.
Ditaunyane has also shot down the questions raised by the Democratic Alliance about uMalusi’s upward adjustment of 16 matric subject written this year.
Umalusi revealed on Friday that of the 58 subjects written this year, 20 had their marks adjusted – 16 upwards and 4 downwards.
“The adjustment of marks is part of standardisation process which mitigates against any factors that may have affected the learners performance, such as, the difficulty in the question paper, the learner misunderstanding the question, or a questions that may favour a group of learners to the disadvantage of others ( e.g rural vs urban). Adjusting the marks does not necessarily mean there is something wrong with marks”, he explained.
The DA claims that the continuing upward adjustments suggested there was a very serious problem somewhere in the schooling system that must be identified and addressed‚ particularly as it was a trend over a number of years.
“Until the DBE admits that there is a problem‚ no steps can be taken to identify and solve it. Sticking our head in the sand won’t improve the quality of the basic education our learners receive‚” added DA shadow deputy minister of basic education Nomsa Marchesi
Ditaunyane has questioned the DA’s bona-fides in questioning the quality of the matric results. This because the DA has accepted the non-adjusted marks of 38 subjects – which is over 55% of the total written subjects.