Umalusi approves matric results, no paper leaks but some irregularities

(File, Duncan Alfreds, News24)
(File, Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Pretoria - The Umalusi council on Friday approved the 2017 matric results – unmarred by any leaked papers for the first time in many years, albeit with provisos for certain incidents of dishonesty and irregularities.

"I can’t remember when last we were able to say there were no leakages," Professor John Volmink, chairperson of the Council for Quality Assurance in General and Further Education and Training (Umalusi) said during a media briefing in Pretoria.

He said, besides the fact that there were no reported leakages, there were also no examples of systematic irregularities that marred the actual examination process.

- Register here to get your matric results

"The 2017 National Senior Certificate examinations were largely incident free, with a few minor disruptions in some parts of the country," he said.

"This attests to the success of the heightened vigilance and rigid measures put in place by [the] DBE [Department of Basic Education]." 

Some individual incidents of dishonesty, however, were noted.

"We are running a huge system…To know how many incidents [of irregularities] would be very difficult but they are very small [in number]…Those are isolated incidents," CEO Dr Mafu Rakometsi commented at the same media briefing.

Reported incidents include students who came in with crib notes or a cellphone, as well as some who assisted each other.

In these instances, provisos included that the results of the relevant students would be blocked and further reports would need to be submitted to Umalusi.

An improvement in the quality of question papers was also noted.

Furthermore, there was an increase in the number of raw marks for examinations that were accepted, without the need for standardisation.

"It is pleasing to see that there is a steady upward trend in subjects such as Mathematics, Mathematics Literacy, Physical Science and Life Sciences…It has been a long time since we have been able to leave these subjects raw and unadjusted," said Volmink.

Of the department's matriculation examination results, raw marks were accepted for 38 of its 58 subjects.

Of the Independent Examinations Board’s 61 subjects, raw marks were accepted for 46 of them.

The SA Comprehensive Assessment Institute had raw scores for 18 of its 27 subjects approved.

Umalusi, however, noted concerns that subjects such as Dramatic Arts, Visual Arts and Agricultural Science "need to be given more attention and be afforded the status that they deserve".

More teaching material and resources needed to be provided for these subjects, the council recommended.

In terms of the results of other qualifications, including Engineering Studies N2-N3 examinations, results were approved with provisos linked to the reports of alleged leakages of five question papers and Icass assessment evidence not submitted by some centres. NC(V) Level 2-4 examination were also approved overall with some provisos.

Umalusi said that it continued to monitor the difficulties that some students faced and urged the ongoing strengthening of the education system.

"We cannot rely on the standardisation process," said Volmink.

"We cannot fix the problems in education on graph paper. It has to be on the site of learning."

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
Voting Booth
With the Springboks losing their last two matches against Australia, how concerned are you?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Very concerned! Something is not right ...
59% - 1801 votes
I'm not worried. Every team has a bad game. The Boks will bounce back.
17% - 519 votes
It's too early to tell. Let's see how they go against the All Blacks.
24% - 737 votes
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.