SA’s matric going for the dogs

5 months ago written by

One of these days South Africans will pass matric merely for showing up.

The Department of Basic Education is looking at lowering the requirements for grade 10 and grade 11 learners to pass their school year.

National Afrikaans rag Rapport writes that there is a plan to lower the pass marks for various subjects, including home languages.

MyBroadband.co.za quotes the rag as suggesting the current requirement for learners to pass mathematics will also be scrapped.

The paper quotes Hubert Mweli, Director-General for Basic Education, who made the following suggestions:

  • The pass mark for a home language should drop from 50% to 40%.
  • The pass mark for mathematics will drop from 40% to 30%.
  • Learners will only have to get 30% in two other subjects, other than mathematics.
  • The pass mark for all other subjects will be 40%.
  • The requirement to pass mathematics to pass the year will be removed.
  • The rule that a learner may not fail a certain phase – which consists of three grades – more than once has also been applied since 2014.

The lower standards face criticism from education experts and schools, with former University of the Free State vice-chancellor Jonathan Jansen criticising the general lowering of standards in SA.

He said the country already has a watered-down mathematics stream for those who were told they “could not do maths”. Jansen also says matric exams are rigged to make the weakest pupils pass and not to make the brightest pupils excel. “The exams are designed to compensate for the dysfunction in most of our schools, because the politicians are too scared to confront those who hold hostage the potential of all our pupils.”

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