Education dept raises senior phase pass marks

2014-11-23 19:56

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Johannesburg - The basic education department on Sunday said it had raised the pass mark for Grades 7, 8 and 9 for 2014.

"This is in keeping with the department’s plan to raise the benchmark for learning achievement," said spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga in a statement.

Students will now be required to pass eight of their nine subjects.

Previously, they could be promoted having passed only seven.

Students will also have to obtain 50% in their home language and 40% for their first additional language. This raises the requirements for languages by 10% in both subjects.

No condonation will be allowed.

Mhlanga said the department was aware that mid-year performances had been "adversely"affected.

"It would be unfair to the 2014 cohort of learners to bear the brunt of a systemic change," he said.

"There is a need for the department to manage the transition and the possible depressed learner performance."

School heads and district managers had been provided with guidelines to follow a "closely controlled and strictly managed process", if necessary.

"Where there is a substantial drop in the school performance, the district manager will make adjustments to the results within clearly defined parameters."

The changes in promotion requirements are part of the implementation of the curriculum and assessment policy statements (CAPS).

"It is anticipated that overall school performance in 2014 at the senior phase, despite the DBE intervention, will be lower than previous years," said Mhlanga.

However, he said the results must be seen as an "outcome of a high skills, high knowledge curriculum and improved assessment standards."

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