South Africa’s ‘Pass Mark’ For Mathematics Lowered to 20%

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BuzzSouthAfrica has confirmed that the new ‘pass mark’ for Mathematics in South Africa is now 20%.

Reports about the recent development circulated yesterday. Now, Brian Schreuder the new head of the Western Cape Education Department has confirmed the reports.

Schreuder affirmed that the pass mark for Grades 7 to 9 in mathematics has been reduced to 20%.

According to Schreuder, the decision was inspired by the huge number of learners passing other subjects and failing mathematics.

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He buttressed that those learners from grade 7 to 9 who failed mathematics cannot be promoted to the next grade because mathematics is a compulsory subject to pass.

“Mathematics is a huge problem in our society. The quality and the number of passes in mathematics is a challenge,” stated Schreuder.

As such, the decision makers agreed that those learners who passed other subjects but failed mathematics be considered so that they can move on.



A decision was taken that the group of learners who fail mathematics must not have less than 20% minimum pass mark to be given an opportunity to do mathematics literacy, Schreuder explained and added that the Western Cape is not happy with 20% pass mark.

“…We think it’s too low, it should’ve been 30%,” he said.

Hear him –

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Not long past, South Africa’s Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga stated that her department is very pleased with the consistent improvements seen in the 2015 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS).

“This independent study gives an encouraging account of how we measure up in a widely recognised international testing programme aimed largely at assessing whether countries are making progress in education over time.

“TIMSS performance from 2003 to 2015 shows that there was a significant improvement of 87 points for Mathematics and 90 points for Science, more than for any other country with comparable data,” said the Minister.