The South African Council for Quality Assurance in General and Further Education and Training, Umalusi, on Thursday said it had approved the “credible” results of the highly anticipated 2016 matric examinations which will be released on January 4.
“I want to say we will continue as Umalusi to strive for a system that maintains high quality standards in the interest of South African learners. The council is fully aware that some of our learners have to overcome some overwhelming difficulties in order to achieve a qualification in particular the grade 12 exam,” chairperson of the Umalusi Council, Prof John Volmink told a media briefing in Pretoria.
“We spare no effort in ensuring that we strengthen our education from the bottom up, and continue to strive for excellence in teaching and learning. We just cannot simply depend on the standardization (of the examination results) process to bring about improvement in the pass rate. On behalf of the council I would like to express our hearty congratulations to all the learners who have done in their exams this year, their teachers, parents, guardians and all that supported the learners.”
Volmink also had a message for learners who will discover in January that they have not passed: “To those who have not succeeded, there is another chance for you next year , so work hard and do well. We wish you all the best for 2017”.
The class of 2016 was the third grade 12 cohort to write final examinations under the Curriculum Assessment Policy Statements (Caps). Volmink hinted at some concerns in the 2016 examination results.
“While there are many subjects where the learner performance fluctuates from year to year, we have to single out mathematics as one of the key gateway subjects where the needle has not moved significantly over the years in this country,” he said.
“In fact, what is alarming is that since 2004 mathematics literacy has also joined mathematics as a learning area where the learner performance is critically low.”
Volmink said in 2016, the examination system had to deal with the “unfortunate incident” of a paper leakage in Limpopo which spilled into Gauteng. He said it has been established that the leak does not go beyond 100 learners.
“Umalusi thanks the department of basic education for the swift and decisive action taken to limit the spread of the leakage. As a result, it has been decided that there is no need for a re-write of mathematics paper 2. However, the Limpopo education department’s non-adherence to some of the security measures outlined in the norms and standards must be addressed in the next examination cycle,” said Volmink.
“Umalusi is very concerned about this trend and takes the view that strong action must be taken against those learners and officials who have made themselves guilty of these acts of dishonesty. Umalusi will therefore not release the results of all the implicated learners. The investigation is still continuing.”
Volmink strongly warned students across South Africa against the trend of group copying.
Examination results presented by Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga in January this year showed that South Africa’s 2015 matric pass rate stood at 70.7%, a drop of five percent compared to the 75.8% achieved in 2014.
The Western Cape was the top performing province and achieved an 84.7% pass rate, followed by Gauteng in second place at 84.2%. The Free State came third with 81.6%.
Umalusi chief executive Mafu Rakometsi said this year, his institution has successfully done quality checks and standardization of results from assessment bodies – Independent Examination Board, the South African Comprehensive Assessment Institute, Benchmark Assessment Agency, department of basic education and the department of higher education and training.
– African News Agency (ANA)