The Council for Quality Assurance in General and Further Education and Training, known as Umalusi, has given the 2018 matric exams its seal of approval, with a total of 796 542 pupils expected to know if they successfully completed their high school careers on January 4, 2019.
Senior Manager for Umalusi’s PR and Communications department Lucky Ditaunyane said there were no exam paper leaks in 2018. He said the body was satisfied with the improvement in the quality of the papers submitted for approval.
“Having gone through all the quality assurance processes it is safe to say that all basic requirements were met and the submitted documents were successful approved,” he said.
Despite there being no leaks, Umalusi has identified instances of irregularities, particularly in the Eastern Cape and Gauteng.
“2018 has been really good, the only problem reported was in Gauteng where the principle had allegedly given answers to pupils who wrote Geography Paper one,” he stated.
Ditaunyane claims Umalusi noticed a trend during the past five years which causes great concern.
“Unfortunately, learners are not progressing in Geography, marks have dropped significantly, and it creates a deep concern. We have asked the Department of Education to investigate this as we need to find a way to resolve the issue at hand,” he stressed.
Responding to Umalusi’s claims, the DA raised its concern that the 2018 matric exam results had again been adjusted upwards.
Shadow minister of basic education Nomsa Marchesi said this raised serious questions about the management of the exams.
“Of the 67 subjects considered for the Department of Basic Education matric exams, 17 had their marks adjusted upwards – one more than last year. This means a quarter of all subjects still have their marks adjusted upwards,” she said.
“Unfortunately, we have no idea how large these adjustments are. Umalusi hides this information from the public and refuses to allow elected members of parliament to attend the standardisation meeting.
“Anyone who questions these adjustments is accused of attempting to disrupt the process and attack the school system, simply for asking for clarity,” said Marchesi.
She said protecting the quality of the matric certificate was vital to ensuring young South Africans could study further or secure a job after school.
“The DA will continue to seek greater transparency so that learners can feel secure in their matric qualification.”