Angie Motshekga: Is it time to lift the 30% matric pass mark?

2013-09-29 10:00

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Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga is considering raising the controversial 30% matric pass requirement – and she wants South Africans’ advice.

Motshekga’s department has run advertisements in several newspapers calling for public comment on, among other things, whether the current 30% minimum pass mark is enough to equip pupils for success in higher education and the workplace.

The call for public comment follows the appointment in January of a ministerial committee to consider the pass mark, following a massive public outcry after the 2012 matric results were released.

Currently, students must get at least 40% in languages and maths, and 30% in their other subjects, to pass matric.

In the advertisement, which ran in City Press last Sunday, Motshekga’s department also called for public comment on the following issues:

»?Whether matric, which is generally an academic qualification, should be broadened to include a vocational pathway;

»?Whether the current system in which pupils choose between maths and maths literacy is good enough to prepare them for higher education and the workplace;

»?Whether another level of maths should be introduced to supplement maths and maths literacy; and

»?Whether there is a “value add” to the subject of Life Orientation and whether it should be examined.

The department’s spokesperson, Elijah Mhlanga, said Motshekga’s task team was hard at work.

“As part of that process, we are calling for public comments to assist,” he said.

The closing date for public comments is next Sunday (October?6). They can be submitted by fax to Ms K Sechoaro on 012 323 0069 or emailed to

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