Following a recent announcement by assurance body Umalusi that 28 of the 58 National Senior Certificate subjects written by the matric class of 2016 will have their marks adjusted upwards, the DA has questioned the move.
The Maimane-led party expressed dissatisfaction with the move because Umalusi failed to disclose the reasons why certain subjects were chosen for the said mark increase.
Gavin Davis, DA’s Shadow Minister of Basic Education told reporters that some of the subjects which saw a dramatic upwards adjustment include maths and maths literacy.
He reiterated that the DA is deeply concerned about the increase; because it fears that the standardisation process may lead to an artificial inflation of the pass rate.
Davis Questions Umalusi On Mark Increase
He categorically stated that upward mark adjustments normally takes place when the exam paper is demonstrably more difficult than previous years. But Davis said what baffles him is that there was no evidence to prove that the 2016 exam paper was more difficult.
“And the problem is that Umalusi hasn’t presented any evidence that the exam paper was more difficult and this happened in 28 subjects. So I’m simply asking for the evidence of whether or not those papers were more difficult to warrant such major adjustment,” the inquisitive minister said.
Davis added that the party has since written to Umalusi questioning why marks have been adjusted for 32 subjects compared to 29 in the previous year.
In response, Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi insisted that the Umalusi is on track and maintained that DA’s Davis needs to be cleared on the matter.
Lesufi said: “Mr Davis lacks understanding and needs to receive a basic course from the notion of standardisation and education.
And the rationale for it is very important because it allows us to balance the gaps and it also allows us to manage the quality of education and Umalusi is an independent body.”
BuzzSouthAfrica learned from reliable sources that subjects which did not have their marks adjusted include: History – raw mark of 44.56 and a rejected adjusted mark of 44.01; English – raw mark of 54.72 and a rejected adjusted mark of 54.34; and Physical Science – raw mark of 35.48 and a rejected adjusted mark of 34.45.
Reports had it that 10,871 learners received good enough results to enter some form of tertiary education.