Exams: Extra classes help

2012-07-09 00:00

THOUSANDS of hours invested in Saturday classes have ensured that the matrics who wrote supplementary exams boosted KZN’s 2011 pass rate by 3,4% — the biggest increase among SA’s nine provinces.

And if all pupils who had registered to rewrite their failed exams pitched up, the pass rate could have improved even more.

Chief director of assessment, examination and quality assurance in the department Dr Barney Mthembu said 48 180 pupils wrote supplementary exams in KZN.

“The results show that the pupils were determined, but there are still those who didn’t do well,” he said.

He said a handful scored distinctions in subjects like accounting and mathematics.

He was however worried about pupils who registered, but had not shown up for exams. “If all the registered candidates turned up we’d have had a higher pass rate,” he added.

In accounting, 41 673 pupils registered, but only 39 856 wrote; in maths, 64 210 registered but only 61 009 sat for the exam.

“That worries us because a supplementary exam opens a door for these children to pursue a tertiary education,” Mthembu said.

Results from the supplementary exam upped KZN’s 2011 matric results from 68,1% to 71,5%.

Before the supplementary exams, the province ranked seventh out of the nine. Now it’s sitting at number five.

Matric results from Limpopo, which is currently facing the textbook debacle, improved by 2,9%. The Free State saw the least percentage improvement with only 1,8%.

The head of KZN’s Department of Education, Dr Nkosinathi Sishi said the department has “been worried for years about pupils who didn’t pass matric and didn’t have an opportunity to come and repeat at schools”.

He added that these pupils would therefore struggle alone without support and “fend for themselves”.

Sishi gave credit to the department’s Saturday classes for matriculants preparing for the supplementary exams. “I think these (Saturday) classes had an impact. And this has been an eye opener for us and that we can do better.”

“We’re very excited, but we’re asking those who didn’t succeed to re-register.

“If you don’t succeed on your first attempt you can try again and again,” Sishi urged.

The department said certificates for supplementary candidates could already be picked up from schools and district offices.

Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande urged pupils to apply early at tertiary institutions to avoid long queues and stampedes.

This year, 129 000 pupils will write matric in KZN.

Sishi hopes for a better pass rate.

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