DA calls for inquiry into matric exams

Minister of Education Naledi Pandor must conduct an independent inquiry into the 2008 matric exams, the Democratic Alliance (DA) said on Monday.

Education spokesperson for the party Desiree van der Walt said an independent inquiry should be appointed due to concerns about missing results and the quality of the 2008 pass rates.

“On the surface, the 2008 matric exam results suggest that our education system is showing signs of improvement. But there is a growing number of questions about the extent to which these results are in fact only smoke and mirrors.”

“Furthermore, the department’s failure to release more than 10% of the matric results is indicative of astonishing administrative failures which cannot go uninvestigated,” she said.

According to the DA, the matric pass rate of 62,5% excluded 57 000 candidates who had outstanding internal marks, or who were affected by oral or practical requirements or pending irregularity investigations.

Van der Walt said that the existence of a handful of problems such as these was unavoidable but it was indicative of a serious problem that more than one in ten matriculants did not get their results.

“Children should not be made to suffer on account of the Education Department’s own poor performance.”

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) on Monday said the 2008 matric pass rate is cause for concern.

Spokesperson Dennis George said the general pass rate was concerning especially since rural schools were not performing as expected.

“Many teachers and learners are faced with serious challenges of resources and infrastructure, and this is evident when one looks at the results.

“While many of these problems have been inherited from inequalities of the past, a lot of the blame still needs to be put at the door of the Department of Education,” he said.—Sapa

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