Umalusi: strike and World Cup vacation not factors in exams

Umalusi, the quality council, did not consider the effects of the three-week teachers’ strike or the five-week World Cup vacation when moderating the 2010 matric exams.

Council chairperson Dr Sizwe Mabizela told a media conference in Pretoria that Umalusi was satisfied the Department of Basic Education’s matric results were credible and could be released on January 6.

“At the time of the industrial action learners were preparing for their preliminary exams and most schools would have completed their syllabus,” Mabizela said.

“We don’t think that learners were adversely affected and the Department of Basic Education said the interventions made had a positive effect, so the strike was not taken into account during moderation or adjustments.”

He said 641?533 candidates had sat for the National Senior Certificate exams and that out of the 58 subjects written, raw marks were accepted in 39.

Upward adjustments were made in nine and 10 subjects were adjusted downward, he said.

It meant that in 67.24% of the subjects raw marks were accepted.

“This is an indication that the qualification is stabilising and the assessment instruments are, in general, being pitched at the correct levels,” he said.

He also explained that of the subjects adjusted upwards, none was adjusted to the maximum 10%.

Asked whether learners still found the physical science paper pitched too high, as in the 2009 exams, Vijayen Naidoo, Umalusi’s senior manager for quality assurance of assessment, said the paper was fair.

He said Umalusi was also pleased with the credibility of results of other exam assessment bodies, the Independent Examination Board and the Eksamenraad vir Christelike Onderwys (ERCO) and that they, too, could release their results.

However, Umalusi was unable to give an unqualified approval of the results to ERCO due to systemic problems resulting from moderation of an accountancy paper.

“The written (accounting) paper was not the one finally signed off by the external moderator. We are happy that learners would not be disadvantaged by that systemic error.

“We have approved the results but could not give an unqualified approval,” Mabizela said.


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