1 in 6 matrics failed maths

2012-01-29 13:10

Johannesburg - One in six pupils who wrote last year's matric maths paper got less than 10%, City Press reported on Sunday.

More than half the matrics who wrote physical science got less than 30% for the subject, according to figures the paper obtained from education quality assurance body Umalusi.

The average mark for the maths paper was 29%, 32% for physical science and 38% for life sciences.

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga announced on January 4 that 70.2% of matrics at public schools passed last year's exams, up from 67.8% in 2010.

Figures showed only nine percent of those who wrote maths and 10 percent of those who wrote physical science had, according to the department's criteria, an adequate understanding of these subjects, the newspaper reported.


The figures were "frightening", education expert Professor Graeme Bloch told the City Press.

"We are perhaps improving slowly, but not fast enough for a competitive world."

The numbers also showed fewer pupils were taking critical subjects like maths, physical science and accounting.

The pass mark should be set at the globally accepted standard of 50%, CEO of the Federation of Governing Bodies of SA Schools, Paul Colditz said.

"We are misleading ourselves and the learners. A 50% [pass] would, however, reduce the number of successful candidates dramatically, and embarrass the political and educational leaders."

Matrics however did well in languages, and across the 11 official languages, average marks of well above 50% were achieved.

Wits University education Professor Mary Metcalfe told the newspaper: "These maths results are deeply worrying for our progress in scarce skills areas. Many teachers need more support with both mathematics and the specific challenges of teaching concepts," she told the City Press.

The Umalusi data showed far fewer pupils enrolled for English and Afrikaans as a home language than in previous years.


Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

Traffic & Train Alerts
Cape Town 09:37 AM
Road name: N2 Inbound

ROADWORKS - one lane closed at Main Road

Cape Town 06:03 AM
Road name: MetroRail

Train services between Nyanga/Chris Hani (Khayelitsha) and Nyanga/Kapteinsklip remain SUSPENDED - all stations on these sections are CLOSED

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Deal of the Week!

Get bestselling John Green novels now just R99 each! Hurry and get yours while stocks last. Shop here.

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Jan 21 - Feb 18
Jan 21 - Feb 18

You may be inspired to do things that expand your mind in a big way today. You have a need to explore and a need to please....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.