An investigation by the Sunday Times finds that the 2015 matric pass rate of 70.7% was actually as low as 60%, as 70, 000 additional pupils should have failed.
The Sunday paper reported that Department of Basic Education wants to investigate how matric exam marks were “standardised” in 2015, after marks were adjusted upwards in 30 subjects.
This meant that as many as 70,000 pupils passed grade 12 when they should have failed, the report said.
Department figures showed that 644,536 full-time candidates wrote in 2015, with 455,825 passing after the adjustments were made. However, only 386,722 students should have passed representing an unadjusted pass rate of 60%, the Sunday Times said.
“In December, Umalusi confirmed that 30 of the 59 subjects had been adjusted upwards in accordance with standardisation practices,” stated the Sunday Times.
This means that marks were adjusted to “counter imbalances in the education system”.
“However, after at first approving the unprecedented upwards shunting of marks, the Department of Basic Education is now calling for a probe.”
The Sunday Times reported that Education Ministers are scheduled to meet next week to deal with the mark adjustments.
The full report is available in the Sunday Times of 6 March 2016.