Education dept stands by 2016 matric results

2017-01-03 22:15
iStock

iStock

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town - The Basic Education Department is standing by its 2016 matric results, due to be released on Thursday, despite DA MP Gavin Davis questioning the way some averages were increased.

"We do stand by our results," said department spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga on Tuesday.

"We don't quality assure ourselves - it is an independent entity that has done its job," he said, adding that the final results were assured by a team, including professors.

Get your matric results on News24

Last week, Davis wrote an open letter to the CEO of education quality assurance body Umalusi, Dr Mafu Rakometsi, questioning the way some matric marks were increased, if raw mark averages were lower than previous years. This was based on his observation of Umalusi’s verification process.

Raw marks are the marks pupils get in their exams.

As a member of Parliament's basic education committee, Davis was part of a team of observers at Umalusi's deliberations on the results. According to him, a drop in the average was attributed to a very difficult exam question or paper.

Conversely, if marks were higher than normal, they were kept as they were and officials gave themselves a pat on the back for the improvement.

"It would be interesting to hear, in the case of each adjustment, what made that case exceptional. Because it seemed to me, as an observer, that some adjustments were made as a matter of routine, rather than exception," Davis told News24.

He said that, out of 58 subjects, 32 were adjusted. Only 26 retained the raw mark.

Dept rejects DA MP's concerns

He wanted to know if there was a formalised policy on the adjustment of raw marks, which subjects were adjusted, and why.

His concern was that the adjustments could mask systemic problems, and find pupils being accepted to universities with marks that did not reflect their true abilities. This could lead to problems for the students once in university, he said.

He said he was worried that the 109 000 "progressed" pupils' results had not been treated separately. If these were pupils with a history of weaker marks, they could be pulling the averages down.

"Progressed" pupils are those unable to pass Grade 11. To prevent them from giving up and dropping out, they are put into Grade 12 and given extra support, often with a good outcome, he said. 

Umalusi spokesperson Lucky Ditaunyane rejected Davis's concerns, saying the MP did not understand the intricacies of the process. He said Davis had spent only two hours observing something that went through different phases over 10 days.

"While the final stages of the standardisation process may seem highly statistical, this process of adjustment is the culmination of a long process of receiving and reflecting on qualitative and quantitative inputs," he said. 

"It starts with the setting of papers, then moderation, writing of exams, marking of exams, verification and, only then, finally, adjustment of mark distributions."

Ditaunyane said Rakometsi had not ignored the concerns Davis had raised. Rakometsi had written back to Davis, saying he did not have enough staff to assign to his request, given the limited staff numbers over the holidays.

Instead, a workshop would be held soon for the committee to explain the process, and MPs would be able to ask questions.

The matric results are expected to be released on Thursday. 

Read more on:    da  |  umalusi  |  cape town  |  education  |  matric 2016

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
Partner Content
What all investors should know about index investing

Index-linked investments are growing fast in popularity globally, and are growing in size and complexity too.

Partner Content
How data is changing investments

Technological disruption is rife in many spheres of business and given the quantity of data available, it’s no surprise that the way in which asset managers work is also changing fast.

/News
 

Does your dog have separation anxiety?

We've got tips, advice and how to help your dog

 
 

Paws

Fascinating facts about dogs
Perfectly captured cat snapchats!
Out with the old dog, in with the new
Play with your pet when you're not at home
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

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.

Settings

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.