Matric pass rate is not the problem, Lesufi

Matric pupils writing their final examinations. Picture:  Gallo Images

Matric pupils writing their final examinations. Picture: Gallo Images

The MEC and his ANC colleagues need to tackle education from the foundation phase, rather than playing pass rate games.

Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi is fond of uttering the sort of soundbites on schooling which get people cheering or fuming, depending on whether they agree or disagree with him.

But his latest comments about the matric examinations certainly bear thinking about.

Reacting to the news that education standards body Umalusi has supposedly increased (upwards adjustment, they call it) the marks of candidates who sat the matric examinations under the Independent Examinations Board (IEB), Lesufi said it was about time the country had one, standard matric exam for all Grade 12 pupils.

That makes sense, because it will streamline the matric process through the elimination of duplication, which must be costly. It will also enable employers and universities to compare apples with apples when it comes to school academic achievement.

Lesufi hopes that a unified system will enable South Africa to compete on the international stage.

That may be a pipe dream, unless the unified test features a higher standard than currently in evidence in government schools.

The MEC and his ANC colleagues also need to tackle education from the foundation phase, rather than playing pass rate games, which they will start doing next week.

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