Johannesburg – Gauteng's MEC for education, Panyaza Lesufi, has said all matrics should write the same exams, Netwerk24 reported on Friday.
"People are claiming that pupils writing the National Senior Certificate [NSC] exams are poor and that these papers are easy. They also claim that those who write the Independent Examination Board's [IEB] exams are rich and that these papers are difficult," Lesufi said at an imbizo held on the East Rand on Thursday.
It would make the gap between rich and poor smaller if all pupils were to write the same exams, he said.
"In the end, all the pupils are going to function in the same economy, but don’t do the same assessment to see if they will be capable of doing so."
He said when the South African education system is graded, the grading organisations only take the NSC exams into account.
Distorted perception of SA education system
"For that reason, not everyone is taken into account, because there are about 11 000 pupils nationally who write the IEB exams as part of the private education system."
As a result of this, he said, there is a distorted perception of the education system, because not everyone is considered when the gradings are announced.
"For instance, when we are compared to France, they don’t get the full picture. They have to. Pupils should not be excluded. When, for example, we are ranked 42nd, we could possibly have been 41st if all the pupils had been taken into account."
According to Lesufi, an independent exams board should be appointed to draw up and mark papers, so that there is one standard for all pupils.
He said the board must be independent to allay any fears that should the government be responsible, the standard would be low.
"Let’s talk about this and see what will work best. We can be right or wrong. That’s why discussions are essential. The issue should also be raised at the policy conference of the ruling party."