Heads must roll over matric paper - DA

2012-11-11 16:03

Mbombela - The Mpumalanga education department has assured that a printing error in the province's Geometry paper will not disadvantage matriculants who wrote the paper.

A circle was left off a graph in Question 6 of the second Maths paper, which was written on Tuesday.

"This matter ... will be dealt with during the memorandum discussions and at no stage will the learners be prejudiced by this omission,” said provincial department spokesperson Jasper Zwane on Friday.

The national department of basic education has undertaken to circulate an explanatory memo to moderators and markers to ensure pupils aren't prejudiced.

But Democratic Alliance's spokesman on education, James Masango, says a memorandum is not enough.

He says those who made the mistake must account for their actions.

"The fact is that the provincial department made a hash of printing the question papers, and quite simply, heads must roll,” he said.

 “The error in the paper resulted in learners battling to make sense of what could only be a nonsensical question, wasting precious time and ruining learners’ concentration for the rest of the exam.”

Masango questioned the fact-checking protocols within the department.

“That the officials in charge were negligent goes without saying, and they have to be held accountable,” he said.

Meanwhile, during an executive council meeting in Mbombela on Tuesday, Education MEC Reginah Mhaule failed to mention the Geometry paper error when she gave a brief status update about the exams.

Instead, she said exams had been going smoothly.

“Since learners started writing their exams on 22 October 2012 everything is running smooth[ly],” she indicated.

The DA has cautioned Mhaule not to “only embark on a public relations exercises".

Dodgy track record

Mpumalanga has a dodgy track record when it comes to matric exams.

Exam-related crises go back to 1998, when Premier David Mabuza was education MEC. His department was accused of inflating that year's results by 20% - from 52% to 72%.

This came after a pass rate of 47% the previous year.

In 2004, matric results were withheld because of irregularities and, in 2008, more than 9 000 pupils in the province did not receive their results on time because the department had failed to submit their results to the national department for capturing.

In 2009, matric exams were marred by the leaking of several papers.

In November 2010, local police arrested 13 people, including an education official, a teacher, a prison official, 10 pupils and a worker at Clicks, in connection with leaking exam materials ahead of the exams; this led to a decision by the national education department to take control of the matric exams in the province.

  • sthembiso.jali.50 - 2012-11-11 16:16

    The problem is always in mpumalanga

      charlesbronson.bronson - 2012-11-11 16:49

      Blame apartheid! It's apartheid's fault for raising bafoons in the government departments!!!

      jeremy.forbes.1293 - 2012-11-11 16:53

      Is there no one who can competently proof read papers in this province?

      wesley.nel.5 - 2012-11-11 17:44

      What do expect if the person that sets up the paper have only grade 6 woodwork

      Claudia_Meads - 2012-11-11 22:37

      Post '94 South Africa, The only place in the known universe where you can get a distinction in Illiteracy...

      ahenriquesfernandes - 2012-11-12 06:58

      Verwoerd, are you trying to pass the blame now? We know you are the one responsible for the countries education woes

      peter.j.cock - 2012-11-12 09:11

      How can they proof read the exam papers when the proof readers failed their Junior School exams and then were allowed 38% to pass. This is the illiterate teaching the illiterate and Angie is head of the class of the "worlds dumbest politicians " ( stop blaming me - she cried )

      ismaeel.majiet.96 - 2012-11-12 09:25

      LOL it's enough matrics are struggling to pass maths, now this as well, poor kids...

      saintbruce.bruce - 2012-11-12 12:18

      Hey Hendrik - read carefully - the only time a Government department actually admits to anything is when they have been caught out by members of the DA. Even if they find a problem - no one takes real responsibility and when this has serious consequences, they stay in their jobs regardless so the cycle of poor service delivery persists. I can't employ people who have not had a proper education I can rely on. So far, the debacles with our education system leave me wondering what kind of results can I believe or even trust ? Business and the whole economic future of this country have been failed by an inept education system run by Ministers who point everywhere else when it is shown to be in collapse but never at themselves! If this is as a result of ANC policies, then I lay the blame squarely at their feet. No excuses allowed.

  • christopher.m.lowe - 2012-11-11 16:17

    These bozos can't even print (or check) a matriculation paper properly. I guess they'll blame it on Verwoerd too. Jesus wept.

      Desilusionada - 2012-11-11 16:45

      Anything to prevent the masses being educated....

      sally.lewitt - 2012-11-12 00:10

      South Africa weeps bro..

  • debduplessis - 2012-11-11 16:19

    Matric in this country is not taken seriously... its become a circus & a joke!!

      aristar.aristary - 2012-11-11 17:30

      Eish! Musta, hau! We have the best Punch and Judy show in the world. Mr Zoomer is Punch and Judyatse Mampara is Judy.

  • debduplessis - 2012-11-11 16:22

    Mpumulanga is a joke, matric in this country is a joke, no one takes our matric seriously anymore ... little wonder our matric are worth NOTHING overseas!

      aristar.aristary - 2012-11-11 17:30

      Our university degrees are worth nothing overseas!!!

      gungets.tuft - 2012-11-12 07:18

      You could not be more wrong. Friends emmigrated recently and he strolled into an Australian University with his marks (6 As and a B). They rate him in the top 10% in Australia. Do well in our Matric and our top 6 Universities and you can work anywhere. The only downside is Maths where the standard syllabus here does not include Calculus, so you will not be accepted into US or UK for financial degrees. I have (sadly) lots of friends working overseas with exceptional jobs because of the grounding they got from SA schools and varsities. If you get 30% anywhere you are in trouble.

  • Suzanne Viljoen - 2012-11-11 16:27

    One mistake!!! It has happened that a mistake slipped in but usually the teachers knew and told the learners of the mistake as we started. Im not sure if they saw the tests beforehand or if the department just sent the correction of the mistake

      christi.roestorff - 2012-11-11 17:30

      Exactly! The problem is deeper! When I was at school the head of the math dept used to right all external papers with us, and errors were dealt with very quickly, from what I hear he still does this.

      aristar.aristary - 2012-11-11 17:31

      The whole governemnt is a mistake, never mind the education system.

  • zahierm - 2012-11-11 16:31

    The shocking state of affairs in Mp. This should have been checked and double checked. This is the matric exam for crying out loud!

  • sedupesp - 2012-11-11 16:32

    The heads of respective govermental departments careless about education at our country, they only concerntrate on how they can make their pockets heafty with big bucks and corruptions that subverge our country. . . The country of jokes.

  • braamc - 2012-11-11 16:34

    Yo, yo, yo, we missed the circle, yo, eish

      barnie.huysamer - 2012-11-12 08:05

      Yo,yo. Make da circle beeeega !!

  • JohncarlosBiza - 2012-11-11 16:54

    In my matric year, that department left out the entire Afrikasns paper 2 marks for our school. We fortunately had a diligent teacher who followed up on it. Complete mess, and the leaders keep getting rewarded with promotions

  • tebogoasterr.metswamere - 2012-11-11 16:57


  • tebogoasterr.metswamere - 2012-11-11 16:57


      sally.lewitt - 2012-11-12 00:03

      They must go the whole nine yards..!

      John - 2012-11-12 06:44

      Sorry Sally we are on the "METRIC" system here it will have to be the whole 8,2296 metres

      richard.laros.77 - 2012-11-12 08:56

      LOL @John - Brilliant

  • malcolm.j.patterson.1 - 2012-11-11 17:20

    We can only imagine the time that was wasted over this incomplete question. Pupils are under so much pressure this is the last thing they needed. How many marks was this question worth, don't these people think or is it all lip service

  • aristar.aristary - 2012-11-11 17:27

    If the ANC government actually had educated people in the Department of Education there would be a reliable Department, but until we get rid of the half-witted, uneducated, greedy, corrupt leaders there will be no educated people able to run the department.

  • Mbango Ngomane - 2012-11-11 17:33

    Maybe a naive question: is maths not nationally set and just copied & distributed by provinces? Surely a soft copy should have existed (of course with some form of security with no option to edit) and surely problems of this nature could be averted!

  • jason.simpson.714655 - 2012-11-11 17:54

    Geez. It's a freaking matric paper. If they cant even get that right then theres no hope.

  • PumaFred - 2012-11-11 18:20

    The vast majority of people here obviously have never made a mistake. Grief u lot are anal

      Kykweer - 2012-11-11 18:47

      Forgetting to put sugar in your coffee is a mistake, maybe dropping a plate and breaking it is... But making an error that affects thousands of people is a global ####up

  • Chris - 2012-11-11 18:31

    as your president says, the ............... way must be used ' who signed off on the draft ????????????????

      sally.lewitt - 2012-11-11 23:57

      'We don't need no ejumacachun' {sic}

  • badladballie - 2012-11-11 18:32

    Just not good enough. Those poor pupils.....I know because my daughter was one of them. Imagine not being able to trust the competence of your examiner!

  • Thabiso Davis Davis - 2012-11-11 18:56

    year after yr stories about Exam papers in MP, this guys must be fired. please investigate this incompetent so called delegates.

  • sbusiso.rochy - 2012-11-11 19:27

    mistakes can happen to any one, instead of you pointing fingers you must help find a solution.

      sally.lewitt - 2012-11-11 23:54

      Not another one.. Where you and Arthur in the same class..?

      kimsaiyanprincess.murison - 2012-11-12 07:16

      - The solution is to fire incompetent staff at such important departments.

  • christopher.collings.9 - 2012-11-11 19:29

    what a joke!

  • boulvy.selala - 2012-11-11 21:46

    And they complain when graduates from other provinces occupies top positions in their mining and petroleum industries..

  • arthur.mabentsela - 2012-11-11 22:19

    Just aflippen graph. If they were going to pass they would hv, with or without the graph

      sally.lewitt - 2012-11-11 23:51

      You can NOT be serious..?

      sally.lewitt - 2012-11-12 00:15

      Take note: A CIRCLE

      werner.dippenaar.77 - 2012-11-12 07:50

      mabentsela, matric math are a bit more complicated than counting the fleas on your sack !

      badladballie - 2012-11-12 22:46

      Hahahaha......these okes are beauts....

  • fanie.barnard.92 - 2012-11-12 01:20

    Well our Prez said the other day: From now on we are going to do things the African way. This is only the beginning. lol

  • diebongs0412 - 2012-11-12 02:22

    Compensation must be considered for the time wasted on the paper by the Matriculants trying to figure out the graph which had errors.

  • james.kukard - 2012-11-12 09:00

    Lol, what’s the difference, circle or no circle, the passing rate is going to be much higher than last year. Especially in Mmpumalanga, every disadvantage learner is going to get 50% for free in any case.

  • sesom - 2012-11-12 09:41


      miqumba - 2013-01-02 18:21


  • dlnnlsn - 2012-11-12 15:42

    Having written the paper, I refuse to take the DA seriously on this one. The graph was not necessary to answer the question. There was no information that needed to read off the graph. The question itself specified all of the information that you needed to know about the circle, and if they really just left the circle off then the centre of the circle and all of the points relevant to the question would still have been on the graph. With reference to the article, I really do not see how leaving the circle off the picture would make the question nonsensical. It would be like being told that the base of a triangle is 4 and the height is 6 and then claiming that its impossible to work out the area because you weren't given a picture.

      successmabuza - 2012-11-13 22:49

      I really agree with your comment, I too share a mutual opinion and understand that the DA speaks without reason and with an abundance of critism towards the mpumalanga DoE. It is one thing to be noted that the lack of the circle from the graph did not inhibit learners/us from answering the question at hand.

  • J.Stephen.Whiteley - 2012-11-13 06:37

    Well done, James Masango and the DA, for your constant vigilance. One day this country will come right. Kathy

  • pages:
  • 1