Concerns over matric 2012 physics paper

2013-01-10 14:07
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Cape Town – A Stellenbosch University first year physical sciences lecturer has highlighted omissions in the senior certificate physical sciences paper of 2012.

Dr Lee Boonzaaier, who has almost ten years experience in teaching first year students, had reservations about the omission of essential physics topics dealing with electricity and magnetism.

These included conceptually challenging parts which include Coulomb’s law, electrostatic potential, and electric fields. “The formula sheet includes Coulomb’s law, but no questions were asked,” he told News24.

According to Boonzaaier’s teaching curricula half of the second semester at University is spent going through the omitted material.

Boonzaaier also expressed reservation about random, non-sensical questions and highlighted “two questions, representing 13% of the paper, which was a waste of time”.

Despite his damning assessment Boonzaaier admitted that it was not a substandard paper and that “that which was tested is fair”.

The recent 2012 matric results saw a dramatic increase in the pass rate in the physical sciences. Between 2009 and 2011 the pass rate increased from 36.8% to 53.4%. In 2012 the Department of Basic Education boasted with a 61.3% pass rate.

In recent years there has been a steady increase in the introduction at tertiary institutions of extended academic programmes. These courses aim to fill in the knowledge and conceptual gaps left by the secondary education system.


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Read more on:    education  |  matric exams  |  science
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