The Department of Basic Education wants to investigate how matric exam marks were “standardised” in 2015, which saw marks adjusted upwards in 30 subjects.
According to a report in the Sunday Times, this resulted in 2015’s matric pass rate going up from 60% to the reported 70.7%.
This resulted in about 70,000 pupils advancing from grade 12 when they should have failed, stated the report.
“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.”
Real matric pass rate 60%
An Council of Education Ministers meeting scheduled for next week is set to deal with the mark adjustments, which the education department does not want to reoccur in 2016.
The report stated that the department’s recent education lekgotla hosted a presentation which showed that the matric class of 2015 achieved a pass rate of 60%.
After the mark adjustments, this became 70.7%.
The Eastern Cape would have had a pass rate of 45.8% before adjustments – but received a 56.8%.
“The Northern Cape and North West pass rates were pushed up by 15 percentage points and 13 percentage points respectively,” stated the report.
Exam body Umalusi did not answer “specific questions” sent by the Sunday Times.
The full report is available in the Sunday Times of 6 March 2016.