Matric 2019: Umalusi gives results the thumbs up

File photo. (iStock)
File photo. (iStock)

The 2019 matric results were approved by the Umalusi council on Friday, after its evaluation found that there were no exam paper leaks or systemic irregularities.

Approving the national examination results, which will be released on Tuesday next week, the quality assurance council's CEO, Dr Mafu Rakometsi, said the exams were largely unmarred by disruptions, protests or issues with the papers.

"The quality of questions papers is a very important aspect of the integrity and credibility of the examination," Rakometsi said.

"It is therefore pleasing to see a marked improvement in the overall quality of question papers across the assessment bodies, as more papers are approved after first or second submission to external moderators."

Rakometsi was also pleased to announce that there were no systemic irregularities picked up or paper leakages, which would compromise the integrity of the examinations.

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While examinations had run smoothly for the most part, Rakometsi did note that load shedding had affected the practical exams for Computer Applications Technology and Information Technology in some parts of the country.

"However, arrangements were made for the affected learners to write back-up papers on November 29, 2019, in both subjects."

Protest action in the North West also threatened the writing of exams, but the Department of Basic Education was able to make alternative arrangements timeously, Rakometsi said.

Acts of dishonesty

The council did note that there were a number of acts of dishonesty, which were being attended to. These included pupils helping each other, or making use of crib notes.

In terms of standardisation, Rakometsi said that, of the Independent Examinations Board's 64 subjects, raw marks were accepted for 52 of them.

Four subjects were adjusted upwards, while eight were adjusted downwards.

Umalusi chairperson Professor John Volmink told the media that they had observed a worrying trend in mathematics, where there seemed to be no signs of improvement in the results.

Volmink noted that there may be a fundamental flaw in the way that mathematics was being taught, adding that the decrease in learners taking mathematics as a subject remained a matter of concern.

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