Minister defends quality of matric

2012-05-17 22:28
Cape Town - Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has defended the quality of the National Senior Certificate, saying its standard "can be attested to".

Motshekga said in her budget vote speech in Parliament on Thursday that concerns had been raised about standard of the certificate with the introduction of the new curriculum.

"The high standards of the National Senior Certificate (NSC) can be attested to," she said.

"To obtain admission to university study for bachelors with the old senior certificate, a candidate had to pass four subjects at 40% and two at 33.3%.

"In the case of the NSC, admission to bachelor studies requires a pass in four subjects at 50% and the remaining subjects at 30%, provided that the home language is passed at 40% and the language of learning and teaching at 30%."

She said the NSC required a candidate to offer seven subjects, while the old senior certificate required only six subjects.

"From the above minimum requirements, it is clear that pass requirements are now higher. And here we are telling no lies and are claiming no easy victories."

Motshekga said question papers were "benchmarked" as a credible mechanism for ensuring national question papers were internationally comparable and were are of the highest standard and quality.

In 2007, question papers for 10 major subjects were evaluated by three assessment bodies - Cambridge International Examinations, the Scottish Qualification Authority and the Board of Studies New South Wales.

"There is consensus... that by international standards our question papers are well designed and assess what they purport to assess," she said.

Motshekga said "continuous teacher professional development" continued to be critical for the department.

"Our call to teachers to be in school, in class, on time, teaching for at least seven hours a day remains fundamental," she said.

She said the department was overseeing the implementation of the Integrated Strategic Planning Framework for Teacher Education and Development that was launched in April 2011.

Some R3bn had been set aside for teacher development in provinces in 2012/13.

An audit process to support functionality of teacher resource centres would be conducted in 2012/13.

This would include a scoping for the development of new centres.

There are currently 144 teacher centres in the country.

Read more on:    angie motshekga  |  education

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