Now that matric pupils are writing their final exams, I am not sure whether to wish them luck or not because they are not faced with a tough task at all. All they need is a pathetic 30% pass mark to pass and I still maintain this should not be happening.
By lowering the school pass mark to 30%, the department of basic education is doing a great damage to our education system and to the minds of the affected learners. I have noted with great concern a large number of pupils who cannot read and write properly. More worse is that even those who have completed grade 12 have the same problem.
In all fairness, on what grounds do we give learners the 'privilege' of getting, in their exams, 70% wrong yet still make it? How on earth can we be proud of producing a huge percentage of grade 12 results when pupils only needed a mere 30% to pass? Instead of lowering our pass mark, why don’t we increase our effort?
Yes, by getting 30%, a pupil has passed his/her grade 12, but what quality do we have there? It is so disheartening that we celebrate and ululate with joy, saying our children have performed exceptionally well when we know it very well that their pass mark is so pathetic. We end up blaming the poor kids when they struggle to progress at tertiary level because the 30% privilege doesn't exist there, one needs to get at least 50% to progress to the next level.
The people who get credit when the grade 12 results come out are the department of basic education officials because the focus is on the numbers of the learners who passed, while our brothers and sisters are subjected to extreme humiliation. Are we that desperate to lower the pass mark and fool ourselves that we are on the right track?
Come January, Angie Motshekga and her cronies will be proudly announcing , how well our matriculants have performed, as if it is a milestone achievement. They should be ashamed of themselves because the current state of affairs will have brutal consequences in the near future.
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