Matric results riddle

2011-01-09 15:42

Johannesburg - Concerns over the validity of the matric results continue to mount amid quality assurance body Umalusi’s ­refusal to explain how marks were ­adjusted.

In a major public rebuke, respected academic and Umalusi standardisation committee member Professor John Aitchison told City Press it was “appalling” that the body was ­secretive about the ­subjects that were ­adjusted.

The dramatic improvement in the matric pass rate (7.2 percentage points) has come as a surprise to many.

Despite desperate attempts by the basic education department to quell fears, the following key questions ­remain unanswered:

» What caused the steep decrease in the number of full-time candidates, coupled with a significant increase in that of part-time matrics? and;

» Why was there a sudden big ­improvement in pass rates of popular subjects? (see sidebar)

Umalusi has refused to make public the 19 subjects that had marks adjusted upwards or downwards and the 39 whose raw marks were ­accepted – a decision Aitchison called “appalling”.

He added: “All useful information about the matric exams should be in the public domain because we need it to make correct evaluations of the exam system.

And this information will in no way compromise the exam results.”

Yesterday (Saturday), Western Cape Premier Helen Zille said: “It is of critical ­importance to preserve the credibility of the matric certificate. If there are questions, they should be asked, ­investigated fully and answered.”

On Friday, Umalusi issued a statement saying the standardisation process was confidential – without ­referring to the relevant legislation.

Umalusi chief executive Dr Mafu Rakometsi said that withholding the ­information was in the “best interest of ­individual learners and the entire ­education system”.

Rakometsi said on Friday the adjustment process happened behind closed doors because it was “highly complex, technical and qualitative”.

However, according to an Umalusi insider, the real reasons for the non-disclosure were:

» Universities might scoff at the learners’ marks (symbols) as not ­being a true reflection of their actual academic abilities;

» Learners could lose bursaries;

» It could negatively affect those ­intending to study abroad; and

» Adjustments were not done across the board and best-performing ­learners whose marks were ­untouched could be prejudiced.

According to City Press’s source, Umalusi is considering calling a council meeting this week to deal with the “unprecedented” situation.

Questions sent to Umalusi on Friday were not answered.

Full-time candidates

The number of full-time candidates last year was much lower than in 2009 – something for which the basic education department has no ­explanation at this stage.

Last year 537 543 matrics wrote the ­prescribed seven subjects, 14 530 fewer than 2009’s 552 073 full-time candidates.

In contrast, the national number of part-time candidates more than doubled – from 39 255 in 2009 to 82 835 last year.

These figures have led to claims that schools were weeding out weaker learners, forcing them to become part-timers to ensure a good pass rate.

Department spokesperson Granville Whittle said the dramatic increase in the number of part-timers should be viewed against the effect of a backlog caused by a curriculum change in 2008, which caused a sharp drop in part-timers to 1 116.

He said it was difficult to explain why there were fewer full-time candidates last year.

Behind the numbers

A steep improvement in the pass rate for physical science was recorded last year.

Some 47.8% of the more than 205 000 learners who took this ­subject passed with a mark of 30% or higher.

In 2009, the pass rate for the subject was 36.8%.

In the case of another popular ­subject, life sciences, just short of 75% of learners passed – a jump of 9.1 ­percentage points.

In maths literacy, 86% passed – an increase of 11.3 percentage points.

  • yngwtsf - 2011-01-09 15:50

    How on earth can a mark of 30% be considered a pass?

      squeegeepilot - 2011-01-09 17:35

      Yep 30%! And, if you intend failing, you have to apply in triplicate in all 11 official languages.

      The Patriot - 2011-01-10 10:30

      Tongue in cheek Soga.

      wcslater - 2011-01-10 10:41

      Actually it is a racial matter S.Soga, the fact that black learners were to be marked more leniently, how is that not racial?

      Susannomore - 2011-01-10 11:09

      You have to get more than that just to get into matric. It is so scarey out there. No wonder so many matriculants are Illiterate

      Nic - 2011-01-10 11:50

      Ya such a joke....they decrease the pass mark and on top of that the standard of the work. Someone who gets 30% now is as good as someone who got 10% pre2000. I say bring back 40 or 50% pass rate, increase the standard of education and bring back the system whereby learners can leave with a grade 10 certificate so those that get to matric and pass can leave with something decent behind their name because a South African matric certificate is fast reaching the same value of the Zimbabwe Dollar.

      mwfrater - 2011-01-10 11:53

      @Soga, You're the only twat it seems. 1. Ian was being sarcastic and the spelling mistakes were intended, you tit. 2. This is very much a racial problem, it's the black people who are the vast majority of those failing, even with 30% being the pass rate these days they are still simply unable to muster the ability to achieve this rate. Where it becomes a racism problem is simply that government is now not only being racist regarding AA and BEE but now even at school level, white students are being duped by government handing out preferential marking to black's only. One wonder's when the rest of the world will finally wake up and call this crap what it is, the New Apartheid.

      Nic - 2011-01-10 11:58

      I meant pass mark not pass rate!

      CarpenterMal - 2011-01-10 12:10

      Scary thing is that 1 third of Government is illiterate.

      Eish - 2011-01-10 12:20

      On behalf of white people, I appologise for Ian's and especially Don's comment. Soga that wasn't necessary either. And why can you guys be so sure blacks were marked more leniently? Get a life

      S.Soga - 2011-01-10 13:43

      @Eish...i appreciate the apology and apologise for my misdemeanor...... I'm just tired of white South Africans using every opportunity to raise their racial frustrations, all they do is whine, whine and whine. I have more of respect for Afriforum then this lot, at least they challenge the government in public and don't hide behind profile names on a website. These whingers are just making alot of racist noise without achieving anything!!! Since '94 nogal!! It's riduculous i tell you. For crying out loud, join Afriforum or DA if it really irks you. And while you at it, stop pretending that you like blacks in your workplace and all other public areas, saying shit like" oh Sipho is my freind...and he's black"....get the f out of here!!!

      S.Soga - 2011-01-10 14:10!! This is what i want from you, real emotions...but next time, try saying it where everyone can see you. This goes for all of you whinning white South Africans hiding behind your keyboards and screens. Stop pretending and let it all out!!! We know you feel this way.

      Jimmy - 2011-01-10 14:47

      @s.soga Ian.teall is, without doubt, a complete prick. But after that little outburst, so are you. You're just as much a racist as Ian. Why don't both of you "get the f out of here"

      BigD - 2011-01-10 15:11

      To get 30% for a subject all you have to do is get your name spelled correctly. Then these learners think that they can excell at work by producing 30% productivity.

      Janina - 2011-01-10 15:20

      I have to agree. 30% is very low. I mean a pass on university level I think is 50%

      S.Soga - 2011-01-10 15:32

      @Jimmy...before i get the f out of which point did i make the cut of being a racist? This i want to hear!!

      dumblond - 2011-01-11 14:44

      Strange how so many matriculants with African names in traditionally named African township schools managed an "A" for Life Orientation this year - since gr11 & gr12 LO subject demanded several projects such as "career & study choices" + completing an actual tersiary study application form ( which all indicate that you need to submit your Gr11 marks + deadline dates for applications ) one can only assume that because LO was internally moderated by their own school, the "A" symbol is not a true reflection of the pupils capabilities... a point proven by the queing masses at UJ. sad.

  • Quentin - 2011-01-09 15:53

    wot kan won cay?

      Werner - 2011-01-09 16:12

      And yet only 2/3 passed ... it's like losing while cheating.

      wardle2066 - 2011-01-09 17:16

      Not going to call Quentin an idiot too are you Wern?

  • Trevor - 2011-01-09 16:05 MUST be kidding me...??? STUPID do you have to be I believe the results have been tampered with in a big way to save Ministers face at the cost of our Matrix Certificate reputation which is now fast becoming a joke.Just look back to July and the reports coming out from the education department and Student look at the doggie the Ministers in charge by chance have a Cuban Matrix/Grade12?

      Homer - 2011-01-10 07:24

      And if the marks were jacked up, you really only needed to get below 30% to pass.

      masterjane007 - 2011-01-11 09:50

      Yup, that's the sad thing. The guys who eventually got a score of over 30% have alreayd had their marks ajusted upwards. To think I could be employing some moron with a Matric certificate who doesn't have a clue about 70% of what he is supposed to know. So if you don't know 70% of Matric English, what the f DO you know? How to spell your name? And if you fail at 70% of Maths literacy (let's just be honest about the fact that this is not exactly maths as we knew it 20 years ago) does that mean that you can actually count to ten, or can't you? So if I employ some nut with a Matric Business Economics pass to work in my busines, can I trust him to f up 70% of my business? (The answer to that is of course a resounding YES YOU CAN!) I want I want I want I want! That is what this is about. I want a house like yours! I want a big car! I want the power! I want a Matric! All right, my son, here you go, you can have it. I want a pale skin!

      Will2.0 - 2011-01-11 12:25

      masterjane..(whose master nogal?) if it irks you so, don't hire the person that just managed to pass - no-one is forcing you.

  • Frungy - 2011-01-09 16:17

    The application of the o-jive, adjusting the results to fit a normal distribution (x many 95%'s, y many 50%'s, etc) was a fair and transparent process applied to all learners to ensure than an unduly difficult (or easy) paper didn't prejudice students' future careers, however this sort of statistical manipulation was based on two critical assumptions: - On average the students had been properly taught and were competent, which with the teacher strikes in the last several years is in question - The statistical method was applied evenly and without undue bias, which with the secrecy surrounding these results is equally in question. As such I have grave reservations about the validity and reliability of these results. The logical outcome of this is going to be to the students' detriment, the universities will, from necessity, start to administer their own entrance examinations. Well done ANC, up until now the matric system wasn't broken, you managed to break it. Viva the revolution (revolving deeper and deeper into the mud).

      graham.christensen1 - 2011-01-09 18:43

      ogive... but yes, you're right.

      masterjane007 - 2011-01-11 10:01

      It used to be applied to specific papers where, say 90% of the students scored above a certain mark throughout their school careers, and then, suddenly in the Matric paper, that entire 90% score far below their normal mark. This was seen as an indication that the paper standard was set too high and it was taken as prejudicial to the pupils. In these circumstances the entire mark for that specific paper would be adjusted upwards to compensate for the great drop. This would also be made public as we all needed to know and unerstand where our marks came from. It was also possible to score a specific pupil a pass or a destinction if his or her entire school career showed him or her deservant of the pass or destinction in a specific subject and in the Matric paper he or she scored only one or two per centage points below that pass or distinction. This would be the case where a student, for example, consistantly scored around the 85% mark for a specific subject and then in the final paper score a 79%. The council would be entiteld to add the additional 1% to grant the student the A. But this would be indicated on your results and everyone would know that you got that 1% mahala. But the university bursary council would still give you the bursary you needed based on the fact that you got the A. Yes, back then you actually had to score A's in order to qualify for bursaries. Much was said about this system and it was not always fair. But it is most certainly not the same system be

      masterjane007 - 2011-01-11 10:05

      ....same system being applied here. Given the fact that so many more students passed this year compared to the last, it is clear that there simply was no specific drop in marks in a specific paper which could have been call for adjustment. It is also clear that, whatever criteria (if any) the board did follow in deciding what adjustments to make, such sdjustments were simply made without looking at all at the actual situation on the ground. If they had done that, they might have noticed that no adjustment was in actual fact necessary. Unless of course you want to use it as political propaganda, well then you would probably need to adjust it regardless. And you would get the vote of the masses of morons as no intellegent person would fall for such nonsense. What is really truly disgraceful is what they are teaching the children by doing such things. Just breeding more of their own rather than creating real leaders. Such a shame on them.

  • Johan Kruger - 2011-01-09 16:34

    "Brudders" are helping out one another.

  • allie - 2011-01-09 16:36

    I will not employ 2010 matrics until i know the truth.Maybe JU-JU can start a furniture factory with them or they can join ZUM-ZUM`S machinegun band.

      Ano Nymous - 2011-01-09 17:46

      Comrade Zuma's Highly Vocal Machine Gun Dance Band We hope that you've enjoyed the show...!

      Tixie - 2011-01-10 03:19

      I'm in recruitment and have to agree!

      Picasso - 2011-01-10 07:42

      Just employ out of the Private school section.

      SaintBruce - 2011-01-10 13:38

      I agree Allie. Sad that this has tainted any and all 2010 matric senior certifcate holders. Such suspicion needs to be allayed by the education department and the Umalusi bunch! If not, this whole lot become unemployable to the genuine workplace. I am in the Industrial Chemical sector and handle hazardous substances so we have a minimum entry level of Matric with Maths and Science passes yet so many students dropped maths for maths literacy which is not good enough. Secondly - all real world training courses I have attended in the last 20 years have a minimum 65% pass rate. How can we expect a low 35% average to manage in the workplace? Functional literacy is another BIG problem. Even many whitey's in the workplace cannot string together an orignal idea in a coherent, logical fashion! I am not joking. Outcomes based education is just that - getting an outcome ie: a pass, without any attention to the QUALITY of that outcome. Our children are being diddled out of a decent future - or is that the plan?

      moiraine - 2011-01-11 21:04

      @SaintBruce - I agree about Functional literacy. When I mark students exam papers, I am horrified at their lack of English proficiency. All our students have a pre-admission assessment of their English, so all have some basic English knowledge. We do not mark down for spelling (so long as it doesnt make another word) or for grammar, so long as it makes sense. So, it is not that I am talking about someone with limited English proficiency. But seriously sometimes it is like they have just strung together as many words as possible and it just makes no sense at all! And this is from the English and non-English speakers alike!

  • geanann - 2011-01-09 16:38

    It is not a riddle it is just more ANC lies and manipulation like so many other things. Their supporters are becoming more stupid and in the process more exposed to the lies. They think the child has a matric and in the meantime it has the equivalent ofZuma's standard 3

      johan.klopper1 - 2011-01-10 15:50

      Zuma never went to any school. PS. This is me, not an alias.

      Khoisan - 2011-01-11 16:31

      Dear Geannan, thank you for all your comments, we are overwhelmed with all the material you're providing us with for our research, which we are currently conducting. The research is titled: "An Empirical Study of Men who lost Political Power and the size of their Brain in Relation to their Penis".

  • lldoidge - 2011-01-09 16:55

    I knew it. I have been asking the same questions since they were reported! Vindicated. Where is Picasso that defended the marks and replied to every post to get his/her point across????? Help us out here, please Picasso!

      Dave - 2011-01-09 17:54

      ssshhhh, he is in a closed door meeting with Umalusi, where they are explaining to him what they did, of course this cant be disclosed, cause the universities and bursary grantors might just withdraw....but a statement from Picasso with a full denial will be published soon, with explanation of course

      Picasso - 2011-01-10 07:46

      lldoidge moron, I've never defended the marks, I've defended the fact that the formula used is making sence. As it is making sence to all the political parties and other newspapers. It is only to the idiotic Sowetan, you and some other intelligent challenged individuals that it is not making sence. You do realise if you lived 80 years ago in Germany, you would've been one of the retarded people who Hitler would've used for experitments, do you?

      Picasso - 2011-01-10 07:48

      I challenge any of you morons to show where I've defended the marks.

      Quentin - 2011-01-10 08:55

      sum no eat all viaraas... I peyed my tv lie-sence

      stephanjvv - 2011-01-10 08:57

      Yes Picasso, you are absolutely right, everyone else is wrong and morons. Keep telling yourself that. There is nothing wrong with having a good self image. Whether you have grounds for one or not. :P - 2011-01-10 09:08

      Picasso: So the formula is making "sence" is it? And again, "as it is making sense" And yet again, "you and some other intelligent challenged individuals that it is not making sence." Are you sure you are not JuliArse in drag? You sure spell like him. It is SENSE, you moron!

      Quentin - 2011-01-10 09:13

      wot is a "intelligent challenged individual" Einstein?

      lldoidge - 2011-01-10 09:41

      Picasso, from one moron to another. Go and learn some grammar and while you're at it learn to spell!!!!! You can't defend the results anymore so you resort to insults. Very bright a noble for an idiot like you!!!!

      Picasso - 2011-01-10 10:02

      lldoidge, so why don't you show where I've defended the numbers?

      Quentin - 2011-01-10 10:35

      LOL Juliarse in drag...what would one put in that mouth then!

      lldoidge - 2011-01-10 11:01

      Simple Picasso, go and read your hundreds of posts on the original story of exam results. If the numbers are wrong, there definately has to be something wrong with the formula. What is it you're not understanding? Or were you part of the debacle?

      Picasso - 2011-01-10 12:46

      No lldoidge, if the numbers are wrong the department screw up when adding up, or collecting the stats. As I noted on a previous story about Northview High which they have a 238 wrote and 0% pass rate. It is one of the Top model C schools in Jhb. The numbers must be wrong. If the formula was wrong the opposition parties and other newspapers would've notice it-not just one paper. The formula is A+B=C What you are saying is if A is 5 instead of 6 the entire formula is wrong, which is not. The formula is still right, the numbers is wrong. But enough about that, let's agree to disagree. I also hate the ANC but I will not deliberately twist facts to make a point, at the end you are the same as the ANC.

  • v3 - 2011-01-09 16:56

    Who cares whether they get to university or not. This tin-pot department is awarding Bachelor', Diplomas, etc for MATRIC? Who are they bullsh!tting?

      ThaTruth - 2011-01-10 08:33

      Learners aren't awarded with Bachelors and Diplomas. If a learner obtained a Bachelor it means that he/she can study towards a degree at university, else they qualify to study either towards a diploma or certificate

  • mpanzame - 2011-01-09 17:00

    No - not for real. Sorry I pissed you off Werner - But if this upsets you, I would hate to know what Malemas bs does for you. A bit sensitive today then..... By the way, I have a son due to do Matric so excuse me for being a bit otherwise. Apart from that, I am sure I was free to state my opinion - um er - ja - thats right the constitution Section 16.

      wardle2066 - 2011-01-09 17:19

      I found it funny - maybe these people had a hard day or something and are a bit uptight.. You say what you need to and let them say what they need to.

      Dave - 2011-01-09 17:31

      Our own Zapiro of News24!! Has anyone wondered what the writings of our children would look like if they failed this exam....maybe we just had a look, and maybe that is what satire is all about, making us think?

      SaintBruce - 2011-01-10 13:50

      @ Dave. If you enjoy Zapiro then understand why... 1) he was an 'A' stream student at a top Cape Town Public school for boys 2) he did Advanced Maths and maybe Science also but was always interested in art and cartoons. 3) When I was on the SRC or a large education institution Zapiro was under more Police surveillance than the entire SRC put together for his amazing satire of NP politicians. 4) Like Pieter Dirk Uys says:"so long as Parliament continues to stuff up so grandly as they consistently do, I will NEVER run out of material!" Johnny Shapiro will always be employed. Now a good education, toeing the line between being arrested and failing his audience (informed and interested readers) leaves me with the idea that everything has gone a bit downhill since he and I matriculated ( 1976). This whole education thing is a real shame for the future of those children who face very bleak employment prospects.

      uday - 2011-01-10 15:14

      dont worry mpanz,its that time of the month for wiener,which is once every 5 days,its cyclic redundancy,he keeps going round and round and never gets to the point.Hats off to you, mpanz - keep the humour flowing.

  • ICONIC - 2011-01-09 17:01

    Embracing mediocrity, that's what! Yesses!!!

      ebdg3000 - 2011-01-09 17:40

      Yeah, I have a similar phrase that I use more and more often these days: "The pursuit of mediocrity".

      ex-pat - 2011-01-10 18:06

      My husband has an ironic comment about soccer teams that shouldn't have lost a match: "they snatched defeat from the jaws of victory". The ANC diligently attempts this all the time.

      Deirdre - 2011-01-11 13:46

      @ex-pat ... attempts expat, I reckon they get it right!!

  • Jixby - 2011-01-09 17:10

    30% pass? WTF? Now this opens a new can of worms. How sure are we that our matric actually measure up with international standards? I just cannot believe, given the already low academic standards in the textbooks, that a 30% pass would endear us to any international university of repute. I think that Umlasi has more explaining to do. For example, on what do they base their reasons that SA does in fact compare with international standards? I would like to see this and get some confirmation from an international expert that Umlasi’s reasons are in fact true and up to par. As eLearning and the internet open up international tertiary opportunities for students all over the world, we just cannot afford a situation where we do not meet international standards. That would indeed be a sad day for South Africa. 30%?! *shaking head*

      byline - 2011-01-10 09:29

      SA has the nearly the lowest literacy and numeracy rates in the world as measured by international benchmark tests. For so many matriculants to pass the physics and maths exams can only mean one thing - they're not even at a gr7 level of countries abroad. Anyway, in order to get into most universities abroad one needs to sit an English competency exam as well as an entrance exam. Wonder how many of our current crop of learners would pass either of these?

  • Xram62 - 2011-01-09 17:12

    Hahahahaha....And what do we learn from this? NOTHING. Once credibility's lost, it cannot be restored. If the learners do poorly, everybody screams "what the hell is going on?" And if the learners work hard score high marks, everybody screams "what the hell is going on?" The entire situation has got NOTHING to do with education...and ALL to do with this government's credibility. If only they knew that 16 years ago....

      Sedick - 2011-01-09 17:39

      They are too stupid to know this and they don't care............

  • Dave - 2011-01-09 17:16

    This is truly DIGUSTING.....their pathetic excuse astound me....surely the grantors now of any bursaries will question these mark, is this not fraud against the grantors of these bursaries, and tertiary educators? Surely now everyone will question these result?. These children have become political pawns of the government. Sick

  • ten.camels - 2011-01-09 17:21

    Universities might scoff at the learners’ marks (symbols) as not ­being a true reflection of their actual academic abilities; Do they think varsities don't know what is happening? » Learners could lose bursaries;--- If you don't have distinctions I wont give you a bursary anyhow » It could negatively affect those ­intending to study abroad; when you fail your 1st year overseas they will make any Souf Efreken write a set of tests before enrolment » Adjustments were not done across the board and best-performing ­learners whose marks were ­untouched could be prejudiced.--- so those who got high marks the old way by learning are discriminated against. Inverse incentive to succeed What a farce!!

      Deon - 2011-01-09 18:22

      One cannot raise the top studens' marks above 100%. Imagine achieving 130 out of 100 for maths.

      PB - 2011-01-10 08:14

      Our government is getting more idiotic by the day. It all comes back to the "we demand" generation - they have heard that it is great fun "being in university" - the fact that they are supposed to be there to achieve something (other than wasting everyone's time + money and trashing the premises when things don't go their way), is beyond them. Thank God I don't have any more kids to be affected by this farce they call South African Education.

      byline - 2011-01-10 09:38

      When my daughter did physics NT4-6 at Technisa a few years' ago her marks (in the 80's) where dropped by 20% so that the other student's marks could be raised in order to boost the pass mark. So instead of getting an A she got a B symbol. She got a letter from the lecturer stating that her mark had been dropped, as the lower mark would have precluded her selection into the course she was intending to study.

      pawsaw - 2011-01-10 11:28

      To Deon: In theory there are in reality children capable of scoring over 100%. I know of a girl who had an average of 102% in MAtric. Today she has stuied on overseas bursaries from Geneva etc and works in The Hague. She is 27 years old. To byline: Your account about your daughter sounds just a bit weird. If she was over the 60% or average mark why would that preclude her from selection unless they dropped her marks by 20%. Are you saying here that the rot goes deeper than secondary school level? I have heard that there is a differential applied to students from PDA schools who are applying for medical school PDA students have to achieve 60 or 70 % while Modelc and others have to have over 80 and obviously those with the highest marks in each section are then chosen. Finally having taught children who were homeschooled I can assure you that the ones who are the cream of the crop will always get a good pass whether they write Cambridge or Oxford level exams or local. What is at issue here is that they have dropped the pass marks and children in Matric still haven't made the grade despite upward adjustment. Some 40% of them. The so called methods used to "assist" those who came close to making it to pass so that an improvement could be shown despite the disruptions during 2010 is doing a disservice to all those who "passed" by devaluing those who achieved distinctions on their own abilities and allowing those who were actually passed to believe that life is easy.

      Brett - 2011-01-10 12:55

      Pawsaw is wrong.I dont know what subject you taught, but unlike the reported efforts of sportsmen and women, it is not possible to achieve more than 100% in an examination. If 100 marks are awarded for 100 correct responses, and a student gets everyone of them right, then he gets 100%. It is physically impossible to get more than that.

      So What? - 2011-01-10 18:18

      Hey Brett, believe me it is possible to get higher than 100%. I received a mark of 110% for a paper submitted in second year Zoology based on the fact that I argued that Pyura could be classified as a vertebrate. There are times when an argument or answer is so well answered that a higher mark is given. Ultimately I suppose a final mark would only be 100% though along with a remark as to the ability of the student.

  • Hester - 2011-01-09 17:24

    I really hope that the ANC is not using the matric results to win votes for next year's election. Why the secrecy?

      The Patriot - 2011-01-10 10:45

      It secret because the results are a threat to national security.

  • Duke - 2011-01-09 17:40

    If they have nothing to hide, tell us how you fiddled the numbers. Plenty intelligent South Africans who can understand the complex maths and stats. Amalusi just a bunch of fiddlers letting SA slide into less than mediocre. Bet if these matriculants wrote the exam papers of thirty years back they will never achieve the "A's" they are currently bestowed with. This is seen with the universities challenged to maintain their standards.

      SaintBruce - 2011-01-10 14:03

      Duke - you are right. My daughter wrote the IEB Matriuc in 2007 and achieved 7 'A's including Advanced mathematics ( she has my Dad's clever genes). However in First year at UCT the maths class got into the Advanced Maths she learned in matric by week 15 or so and most of the students were lost ( Engineering maths class of 2008) so that the average test score dropped to 20%! She keeps scoring in the 90's even in third year and her matric results earned her a full bursary from Sasol. This dismal school system is not preparing our country for growth but only more entrenched poverty. Look at South Korea in the 1950's - pushed maths and science then and see how their economy is now - fantastic. Why can't Africa learn?

  • ebdg3000 - 2011-01-09 17:44

    “highly complex, technical and qualitative”. Huddled over the board room table with a crate of Black Label Quarts in the middle: "Now, look very carefully at the names: Eurocentric sounding names must be adjusted down by 10%, and African sounding names must be adjusted up by 10%..."

      ohanret - 2011-01-10 12:25

      Zamaleki: The champion's beer...

  • Deg - 2011-01-09 17:50

    Dave. I am a physical science teacher.In all the weekly and monthly tests I gave,no learner ever got above 60%. A girl who got 29% in Trial,got 66% in Matric.Lmao.This is a big joke Angie!!!!

      Jixby - 2011-01-09 18:35

      Now this, this is seriously scary!!

      lldoidge - 2011-01-09 18:38

      I know of other teachers with the same complaint. They are scratching their heads at these marks.

      paulgrant.vanrooyen - 2011-01-10 05:29

      It's a damn disgrace, the only thing you get from polishing a turd is a shiny turd!

      SaintBruce - 2011-01-10 14:11

      Pretty shocking Deg. In the USA i was shocked to find out that their Education Policy is set by the ...wait for it...Labour Dept.! How's that for deliberately creating Union fodder? No attempt at excellence but churn out as much mediocre kids as possible. Go read ( if you can understand them) some Blogs in the USA - you will see what I mean. So sad and now our dear Government wants to follow a plan that makes the State a job creator! That is not the job or role of Government and never should be ( unless we recognise that we are not a democracy but a Zumocary / socialist beggar state... or soon will be) one to create jobs but rather to make sure en environment exists for free trade and market forces to allow the economy to expand naturally. Obviously basic economics are not required to run a country????

      Bratt - 2011-01-10 15:31

      What is scary Deg, is that you admit your failure as a teacher publicly and find this amusing.

      masterjane007 - 2011-01-11 10:18

      Bratt, what? What? What are you trying to say? The kids in his class were stupid yet they scored high marks in their papers. How is that his failure? If a kid wants a good mark, he must study. Simple. Yes, you get good teachers and bad teachers but in the end, it is the student who has to study. In today's world of lazy kids I am not at all surprised that his students used to fail. Giving them marks on a silver platter certainly does not help things along. At least not the good things...

  • Smk - 2011-01-09 17:51

    30% needed for a pass? That is degrading to the learners, as well as the teachers and Goverment that manages education facilities. How can you expect any business to higher someone that only knows 30% of what they need to do. If I had to hire them I would pay them 30% of the salary cause they only have 30% of the knowledge and thus can only do 30% of the work. Then you need to subtract the fact that you don't really get 100% at work so make that 85% of the 30% hence they can get 25.5% of a salary for the job. So they can then expect a salary of around R2550 from a job posted with a salary of R10 000. That makes for much better logic than fiddling the matric results.

      Kenko - 2011-01-10 10:03

      You make too many calculations. Fact is, if they keep all the "lennas" in school until they pass without "adjustments", we will have more "lennas" than "wekkas". Govt need them all to leave school whatever marks they have, in order to make way for the new wave of "lennas" the population is sponsored to produce. These "lennas" then expect to pass merely for the fact that they attended school. Govt dropped the standards so low anyway, it is just not worth it to employ anyone without writing your own makeshift exam.

  • Moo!hammed - 2011-01-09 17:56

    It's simple really. Black learners were given an extra 20% on top of their actual result. And some still failed... lolz. Seriously though, how thick do you have to be to fail matric? Do you incorrectly spell your name and then just leave the rest of the paper blank?

      Serias - 2011-01-09 18:59

      No, because the mere fact that you picked up a pencil will give you a pass is actually really difficult to fail, you must really put in effort to get less than 30% because the lower you score, the bigger the adjustment. These days the challenge in matric is actually to try and fail, because its impossible.

      Homer - 2011-01-10 07:33

      I second that Mo. I think the maths marks were jacked up by something like 25%. So you really only needed to get 5% to pass.

      Bratt - 2011-01-10 15:33

      This implies that no white students failed?

      masterjane007 - 2011-01-11 10:21

      Only the ones who succeeded in trying to fail, Bratt. They were better at it.

  • roadvark - 2011-01-09 18:05

    WTF...30% they must be kidding.The dark ages cometh. No light at the end of the tunnel I am afraid.

  • kylespobox - 2011-01-09 18:15

    Something smells bad- when teachers are on strike and their are world cup interuptions marks actually improve.Why even write exams ,just send the whole lot straight to university.... but seriously the pass rate in grade 11 should be an indication of whether they should be allowed to write grade 12 exams. What is the use of a 30% pass for that learner going to help him in life.Why would I want to employ somebody who shows that he had no inclination to apply themselves better while they were at school.

      lldoidge - 2011-01-09 18:41

      Fortunately univercity's are asking for grade 11 reports as well. They'll be able to put two and two together which Umlasi are incapable of doing!

      Kenko - 2011-01-10 10:07

      WTF with this Umlazi? Who are they and what do they do? Bullshit the country? And we have to pay their fatcat salaries? Get rid of the leeches and let honesty and hard work prevail, dammit!

      ohanret - 2011-01-10 12:33

      @Kenko Umalusi is the institution that audits the matric results and ensure that the results comply with the relevant standards. A very necessary institution, if their work is done correctly...

  • wardle2066 - 2011-01-09 18:29

    I hire matric kids and give them study bursaries. I have done so for the past 12 years. Let me assure you, the grade of matrics is getting worse every year. To the extent, last year I had a kid who apparently passed Science - tell me that water boils at 40 degrees. Its not great. I asked them all why I should give them a bursary. One of them told me straight out that he needed the job, but wasnt really interested in studying - Its not good out there. One very inelligent black lady from UKZN explained that at varsity there is the real thing and the political pass. She was hoping to "quit" SA as soon as possible. Indeed.

      Bratt - 2011-01-10 15:42

      you sound worse than the people you profess to hire. What does 'inelligent' mean? Where is UKZN?

      masterjane007 - 2011-01-11 10:23

      In KZN, you idiot.

      Deirdre - 2011-01-11 13:50

      Jeez people sometimes we do make typing errors ... take a chill pill and understand what wardle's written ...

  • Gelande St - 2011-01-09 18:41

    Remember, since 1994, it"s the colour, black, that counts, not education. Just look at the Presidents of the Country and the Youth League - the one ain't got no education and the one, supposedly, woodwork qualification. The Department of Education is a mere job creation instrument for assholes !!

      Serias - 2011-01-09 19:03

      The black rot continues........

      ant 1 - 2011-01-09 21:27


  • david.vigilant - 2011-01-09 18:55

    First up, who is Umalasi and why do they have acess to (potentially) my child's matric results? And the ability to, without justification, adjust them? These people have stolen money from the children's education to devalue it. I'm going to be sick.

      ohanret - 2011-01-10 12:36

      David refer to above. They won't steal any child's education...only his\her marks...

  • mpanzame - 2011-01-09 18:56

    @Smk - Hau iNingizimu Afrika lizwe elimangalisayo. Lekker plek 4 sure. Dont need a Matric to run for President - aikunkinga, just need some jail time. 6 months - mayor, 5 years MEC, 10 years MP, 6 months, a few young girls, some Guptas, and sue a few cartoonists - and promise the world to the rest of your brood - PRESIDENT!! So maaklik soos dit. Ngiyakuthanda ngempela!

      nuclear - 2011-01-10 07:55

      "Some Guptas" - hehe!

      The Patriot - 2011-01-10 10:51

      Actually I think all our presidents bar De Klerk did jail time. I may be wrong but it does seem to be a prerequisit anyway.

      Bratt - 2011-01-10 15:49

      think again. Thabo Mbeki never went to jail.

      So What? - 2011-01-10 18:34

      Hey mpanzame, love your sense of humour. Keep it up, at times one needs to see the funny side of things and just shake ones head and laugh at the fiascos we face.

      The Patriot - 2011-01-11 11:11

      Bratt; as I said, I may be wrong. Not sure about Botha either but WGAS? Seems when politicians get into power in Africa things start going pear shaped.

  • Neso - 2011-01-09 19:26

    Every year the matric results are doctored to make the minister and his/her cronies look good. Meanwhile the actual standard of education goes on down and down and down. Since when does a matriculation board 'adjust' marks, other than to make the statistics look good? If a student/pupil/learner can't make the grade on internationally recognised standards then they fail - you don't then fiddle with the numbers so as to make them look good. Without a string of straight "A's" I would be most reluctant to employ anyone who 'passed'(sic!) in the past 15 years. Sic transit gloria mundi!

      Picasso - 2011-01-10 15:16

      A question: if you do home schooling, is it still the DBE that supply the material, or can you do home shcooling through an British or American company?

      moiraine - 2011-01-11 21:13

      @Picasso - I think (may be wrong)that you dont have to get it from the DBE, you can get it elsewhere. I know there is a company called ACE (Accelerated Christian Education)that you used to be able to get material from. As far as I am aware it was not a Christiam based course, but comes from a Christian company. But I am sure there must be others out there. A friend of mine years ago homeschooled her kids and the neighbours kids. Not sure what happens about exams though

  • Hendrik - 2011-01-09 19:57

    Oops! The paw-paw is about to strike the fan!

  • squeegeepilot - 2011-01-09 20:25

    If these results are acurate it proves: 1. These is no need for these whiney teachers - fire the lot and let the kids do self study. 2. Actually going to school is a waste of time - give them extra long holidays as we have now proved that their marks increase when there is no school and then no teachers...

      SaintBruce - 2011-01-10 14:17

      I think you hit it right on the nail! LOL Home schooling must be the answer. I think it would be cheaper to give every learner in High School a small PC and modem ( all RDP houses have telephones and satellite dishes) and let them get on with it! Brilliant observation squeegeepilot - highly commended.

      Picasso - 2011-01-10 15:17

      Yes, the students will be amazed by the built in cupholders...

  • Carlos - 2011-01-09 20:29

    30% as a pass rate is horrifying - fancy being at the mercy of a doctor who is only 30% sure of how to treat you!!

      Bratt - 2011-01-10 15:50

      thank god you need more than matric to be a doctor surely?

      squeegeepilot - 2011-01-10 17:18

      Yes Bratt, 50%. But what if your problem falls in the other 50% the Dr. did not pass? Scary!

      The Patriot - 2011-01-11 11:13

      Haha, what about your dentist with a 30% pass rate armed with a drill in your mouth. What nightmares are made of.

  • michal.mierzwa - 2011-01-09 20:45

    I did my Matric in 2008, minimum pass mark was 33.3% ! There was a Standard and Higher Grade. Clearly the pass mark has dropped to accommodate learners struggling to pass.

      cape.martin - 2011-01-10 07:25

      I did my matric in 1993. Pass mark was 40%.

      Michael - 2011-01-10 08:43

      What a deterioration of quality of education. No wonder UKZN and other univ universities lack acceptance internationally .

      Picasso - 2011-01-10 10:41

      cape.martin, wasn't it 45%?

      navarac - 2011-01-10 10:57

      I'm sorry to have to tell you this, Michael, but the Matric results have been in doubt for longer than 2 years ...

      masterjane007 - 2011-01-11 10:36

      Yes, it was 45% and you had to pass both English and Afrikaans (at that time the two languages tought at English and Afrikaans schools). If you got 90% in all your subjects but failed English, you would still fail your Matric. That is why peole used to be able to speak, read and write properly back then. University exemption was not just a score of 30% or whatever it is these days. Subjects used to fall in different subject groups. You also had Higher grade, Standard Grade and Lower grade. In order to get university exemption you had to pass a minimum of 6 subjects (including English and Afrikaans) out of 4 different groups. A minimum of 4 of those subjects had to be higher grade and those higher grade subjects had to come from three different subject groups. You also had to score a minumum of 60% aggregate to be able to apply for admission to university. Then you still had to comply with the specific prerequisites for the specific degree course you want to do. For instance you needed a 65% Higher grade score for Mathematics for certain courses. I studied Law and Psychology. I needed a 65% minimum for English HG, Afrikaans HG and Mathematics HG in order to be admitted to my course studies. I wanted to study BSC but I stupidly dropped Science in Std. 7 when I did my subject choices and so I simply could not study what I wanted to. If I wanted entry to BSC then I had to do my entire highschool Science over again and score a minimum of 65% for HG Science.

      masterjane007 - 2011-01-11 10:40

      The pass rate in University was 50%. No exceptions. If you scored between 45% and 50% in your exams, you would qualify for a retake of the exam, which would be an oral with both your lecturer and a professor from a different university. He was there to make sure standards are upheld and you had to shine like there was no tomorrow if you wanted to pass that oral. It was pure hell and you had to be better prepared than you ever were for any written exam. There was no such thing as mark adjustments. You could be the Presidents daughter, if you fail you fail. Finish and Klaar. And if you fail the same course twice in a row, you were not allowed to take the course again. Full stop. If that meant that you could never get your degree, well, so be it. Today's kids will die of shock.

      moiraine - 2011-01-11 21:17

      And masterjane English and Afrikaans HAD to be on higher grade to get exemption (ie. 1st and 2nd language). So if you dropped one down to standard grade you were kissing your exemption goodbye without even writing matric.

  • DP - 2011-01-09 20:47

    The SA matric is allready not recogdnised by most international countries anymore. Try sending any one of those kids to America or Australia or New Zealand to study, they will have to do a year "bridging" course at university to get them on par first. Oh yes, our universities are not doing much better, a lot of South African degrees are not accepted anymore, and you have to do the final year or 2 at a university in the country you want to move to.

      Tixie - 2011-01-10 03:22

      And yet, we used to have such a high standard of education that co's overseas used to believe in. So sad

      Bratt - 2011-01-10 15:52

      this is so sadly true...

      base addict - 2011-01-10 16:34

      DP indeed you are correct. My son matriculated (private school) in 2008. We are relocating to Australia in Jan of 2012 and tried to get him into Uni there from the beginning of 2010. They were NOT having it, were NOT interested in the SA matric IEB cert at all. He is now in UK doing the "Bridging Year" which he finishes in July 2011 so that he can get into Uni in Feb 2012 in Australia. My other son, who matriculates this year also has to do an extra year in 2012 in Oz. My husbands BDS (Wits) also didn't hold much steam and he graduated in 1995! Our education (matric) and most of our degrees are worthless. That is a fact.

  • Jan - 2011-01-09 21:18

    A public sector srike and lengthy holidays for the World Cup- and marks go up! forgive me, thuis is one more nail in the coffin in me taking thus government seriously. We live in a circus........

      chopie - 2011-01-10 00:12

      I always say wanna run a circus employ a clown ...

  • Deg - 2011-01-09 21:42

    I come from west Africa.Exams are conducted by an independent body for English-speaking countries in West Africa( WAEC). The ministers of Education of individual countries have no influence on results.The pass mark is 50%.As a Science teacher,I find the standards in S.A too low and pathetic.

      chopie - 2011-01-10 00:03

      agree easy ..I can remember back in in the 1990's.our pass rate was dropped from 47% to what happens ..only know the basics and get enough questions correct to actually pass ..37% is not that hard...wonder what the passing % is now ...25%?

  • - 2011-01-09 22:38

    The credibility of Umalusi is highly questionable. There is absolute no transparency - by making information available by Umalusi no learners rights will be compromised or infringed. It seems that the authorities have heeded the call by the teachers unions to mark learners favourably. Opposition parties must demand a full audit of all marks before upward and downward adjustments for comparison. This is an absolute disgrace. How can government conduct monitoring and evaluation of performance if the true data is manipulated? One can no start questioning all other results confirmed and released by Umalusi.

  • Joe - 2011-01-09 23:20

    It's pointless to try to make the 'on paper' rates look good whilst in reality, candidates are utterly useless when they finish school. What a joke!

      chopie - 2011-01-10 00:10

      the sad thing is ...we have to employ these people ..they think (within their right) I am good enough , because that is what is forced inside their heads ...get to the real life they cannot cope's a sad case really ..I feel so sorry for them ...I had to emply a girl because of BEE...lovely lady ...clever of note but she could not count for shit ...the industry I am part of have to do maths ...but she showed promise and I gave het an oppertunity because of the attitude ..and she is one of the best now ..but yet it was a difficult dicision to make ...what can we do as the public ?..that is the question ?

  • franssmith100 - 2011-01-10 00:54

    i am getting out of here. taking my children with. the one just finished university, will have to go and study another 4 years (400k as an international student), the other will also start sept 2011, 3 x years (300k). this is costing me a huge chunk out of my retirement fund but hell what can i do - qualifications in sa will not worth anything in the very near future and i have to at least give them a decent education.

  • Yaw - 2011-01-10 01:30

    is the ANC responsible for all South African problems?

      stephanjvv - 2011-01-10 09:01

      As long as the ANC is governing the country they have ABSOLUTE responsibility. There are NO excuses. As much as they would like to have a huge list of excuses and in fact, throw a long list of racist historic excuses in front of their voters year after year for their failure to govern the country and make good on their promises, they have no excuses whatsoever. Responsibility and excuses are mutually exclusive.

      Brett - 2011-01-10 12:59

      Good question Yaw. Stephanjvv, you are wrong dude. Let's criticise by all means, but going OTT does not promote your arguement.

  • Kyle_logan - 2011-01-10 08:21

    Interesting I dont see comments from Poloydonkey and kolobe critisizing the DA and prasing the ANC... could they have given up, or is it to early for the ANC spokesmen.

  • michel.botha - 2011-01-10 08:28

    If a person is not able to recall 40% of the content of 6 matric subjects, then there is a serious problem (let's not go there). After all that has been published regarding matric results, why are we not hearing from the matriculants? Are they happy about what is going on? Are those with adjusted marks so stupid as to believe that it is to their advantage? Or maybe they cannot read!!! Has the system now just allowed more than 500 000 morons to roam freely into the job-market and/or to have access to universities? @mpanzame - good one, lol; however, it is just such a tragedy that the tears are not from laughter....

      elextract - 2011-01-11 12:31

      in reply to your question "why are we not hearing from the matriculants?" I can only assume it is because they can not read or write, at a pass rate of 30% adjusted.

  • branden.hart - 2011-01-10 08:30

    All bursary providers should suspend bursaries untill there is clarification. Is obtaining a bursary with false / confidential marks not fraud?

      Kenko - 2011-01-10 10:22

      All the dumbasses will eventually fall off the bus, but only after they wasted the burse money. I suppose, next thing they will lower Higher Education's standards as well, just to let these dumbasses pass. And fraud is not the criminal act it used to be, at least not if a certain sector of society is involved.

      IceBlaster - 2011-01-10 11:53

      The universities by the way do English and math competency tests, they refuse to lower their standard and lose international recognition. To accommodate poor education system and get it to what they need they are adding years to the min years of degrees i.e. a Bsc degree will then take you 5 years instead of 4.

      masterjane007 - 2011-01-11 10:46

      Err... a BSC degree is 3 years....

  • Krush - 2011-01-10 09:18

    Well I will definitely not employee any students who's resume reads "matriculated in 2010."

      Bratt - 2011-01-10 15:56

      but you seem the perfect person to 'employee' them!

  • John Seloa - 2011-01-10 09:19

    dis is bed guys. i also do metric lust yeah.

  • Anarchy - 2011-01-10 09:22

    We will never see how these marks were adjusted. It will be classified as something that could affect the national security of the country. Media houses beware...Papa wag vir jou..LOL We need a proper overhall of the education system by QUALIFIED people.

      Picasso - 2011-01-10 10:43

      Yes, but all the qualified people are in the private sector or overseas.

  • emmamimie - 2011-01-10 09:23

    Unfortunately these matrics will not find decent work, they will end up faling through the cracks.THey continuously blame the teachers etc, I blame the education department for making it easy for these students.Where have you heard of a matric pass 35% these students must still be illiterate, what still of a career. This country has really gone down the drain.

  • di - 2011-01-10 09:30

    mpanzame you hi-lar-ree-arse! but you is not spelling pas rite. it are parse:) you def 4 president! ian.t for deputy!

  • Quentin - 2011-01-10 09:34

    ATTENTION!! VIRUS WARNING!! Monday, a reliable Umalusi insider informs us that their computers are infected with a new virus called the "sum no eat all" backdoor trojan. This is a completely new type of mutation never seen before. It can jump using blueteeth to calculators, ipods, cellphones and other computers. Specialists also inform us that we now have to byte the bullet and format all the hard drives and smash all the electronic equipment that came near marking stations. In fact Eskom have agreed that if things get too bad they will happily assist and turn the power off to contain the virus. Unfortunately all records of the exams have been lost, so we now have to go with the published results. There are reports that link this to a similar virus which was detected at Polokwane over the weekend. In the interim the public is advised to stay at home, unplug all devices and wait for your local government representative to solve the issues. Taxis are advised to stay off the roads as this virus may jump from cellphones to the electronic computers onboard. Mayhem has been reported in Johannesburg with many traffic lights out of control. Do not panic. Amandala!

  • Joe_Public - 2011-01-10 09:43

    South African matric is already worthless internationally. The universities have already decided that matric isn't a reflection of *learners* ability - that's why they set their own entrance exams for their courses. Funny how the American education system has the same problems in terms of low literacy at the end of high school. And yet we adopted their system. How I long for the days when pupils were pupils. An teachers were respected for their skills and knowledge.

      Janina - 2011-01-10 15:35

      Ya that true. I had to write a entrance exam. Says a lot about education is SA. Unfortunately the universities are going the same way. People who would never have gotten acceptance into the applied sciences faculty now miraculously get in. WTF is all I can say

  • 106106sa - 2011-01-10 09:44

    It's NO RIDDLE!!The anc have 'cooked' the results just like most elections are stolen in Africa.It's what African leadership do!They lie, steal, plunder and destroy!!

      Lionel - 2011-01-10 12:06

      You forgot to include in your comment that this is what African leadership are best at.