The department of education insists this is not a bid to 'massage' or obscure matters but to better measure results.
Nearly a million pupils should have written matric in 2014, yet only about half got that far.
Some experts say there is too much focus on learners' final exam results. UCT associate professor Alan Cliff puts the latest results into context.
Suspicion about cheating has been widespread, particularly among part-time pupils, but little appears to have been done to deal with it.
As the 2014 matric examinations approach, education quality council Umalusi has said it is 'satisfied' with the quality of exam paper markers.
The basic education department proposes to reinstate an outdated qualification that is useless to pupils.
Despite the concrete and multiple improvements in the quality of education, it boils down to how much confidence the public has in state schooling.
Although the matric exams are an important institution in South Africa, they should not be used as the primary indicator of school-system performance.
University of Free State vice chancellor Jonathan Jansen said the results of the Grade 12 national senior certificate are "grossly misleading".
Drama pupils offended by a question relating to baby rape in a matric exam paper were unprepared, say examination authorities.
Basic education is looking at excluding a baby rape question from a matric exam paper after it caused an uproar with teachers, pupils and parents.
The department of education should insist that matric markers are properly qualified.
Research reveals that poor language and maths education in SA is failing hundreds of thousands of pupils.
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Umalusi says it is concerned about the running of matric exams in Limpopo and the Eastern Cape, where departments are under administration.
The first bad thing about the 2012 matric results is that 35% of the pupils failed completely.
There is no crisis in the quality of education in Gauteng and South Africa, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has said.
A total of 98.2% of students who wrote the National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations under the Independent Examinations Board (IEB) have passed.