Matrics will know their fate in 4 days

2012-12-30 10:00

The wait will be over for thousands of matrics on Wednesday when the department of basic education ­releases their exam results.

The results have the all-clear from the quality assurance body Umalusi, with its chairman, Professor Sizwe Mabizela declaring the exams “fair, valid and credible”.

In total 657 180 students were enrolled for this year’s National Senior Certificate exams. Of these, 9 493 candidates wrote exams ­administered by the Independent Examinations Board.

All eyes will be on whether the department can improve on last year’s pass rate of 70.2% in light of problems such as a group of Northern Cape parents preventing their children from attending school in protest against bad roads and their mayors.

Mabizela said the late delivery of textbooks in Limpopo was unlikely to affect the matric results in that province as only grade 10 pupils were affected.

Last year’s pass rate was up from the 68.8% achieved the year before and the 60.6% in 2009, raising questions about the extent to which marks are adjusted.

Mabizela told journalists at a press conference at Umalusi’s Pretoria headquarters on Friday that the results of 17 out of the 61 subjects administered by the basic education department had to be adjusted because exam papers were either too difficult or too easy.

Marks had to be adjusted ­upwards in four subjects and downwards in 13.

For the exams administered by the Independent Examinations Board, the raw marks of 44 subjects were accepted while adjustments had to be made in 14 subjects.

Mabizela said these adjustments, done worldwide, were necessary because of “unplanned, unintended and undesirable” variables in any large-scale exams process like this one.

These could be mistakes in the question paper, the level of difficulty, or questions with more than one interpretation.

He said this kind of standardisation was done to ensure that pupils were not “advantaged or disadvantaged by factors other than their knowledge of the subject, abilities and their aptitude”.

Hope Mokgatlhe, spokesperson for basic education minister Angie Motshekga, said the minister will announce the results on Wednesday and pupils can find their individual results on Thursday at their schools or in certain newspapers.

“The minister is happy with the upward trend in the national pass rate over the past few years and ­remains hopeful that this upward trend will continue,” Mokgatlhe said.

“The minister wishes the Class of 2012 well and will congratulate them as they receive their results this week. That matric pass is the key to a bright future that lies ahead of them.

“To those that don’t do well, the minister encourages them not to give up as there is ­always a second chance to complete grade 12.”

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