/ 20 January 2011

FF+: Make matric adjustments public

It is in the interests of those who sat the 2010 matric exams that details of adjustments made to their marks be made public, the FF+ said on Thursday

It is in the interests of those who sat the 2010 matric exams that details of adjustments made to their marks be made public, the Freedom Front Plus (FF+) said on Thursday.

The party had therefore asked Umalusi, the council responsible for assessing and qualifying the exam, to provide it with this information, FF+ basic education spokesperson Anton Alberts said in a statement.

The request had been made in terms of the Promotion of the Access to Information Act.

He said Umalusi should make public “the basis for the adjustments, the specific subjects which had been adjusted, as well as with which%age the adjustment had been made by”.

“The FF+ is still of the opinion that it is not only in the interest of the public, but also that of learners, that details about the subject adjustments, which had been made for the matric results of 2010, are made public.

“Individual learners will not be harmed by this information as the information which the party has requested will give an indication of national and regional trends, and will not contain information about individual learners,” Alberts said.

‘Standardisation’
On Wednesday, Umalusi chair Sizwe Mabizela told Parliament’s basic education portfolio committee that information on such adjustments, termed “standardisation” by his council, was confidential.

“There has been a lively debate on why Umalusi is not willing to disclose the decisions that were made in respect of each subject,” he said.

However, standardisation was “highly complex” and “very technical”. Further, the information was “sensitive”, could lead to erroneous interpretations, and might prove prejudicial to pupils.

“It is not secret, it is confidential,” Mabizela told Members of Parliament.

Mabizela revealed that the standardisation carried out on the 2010 matric results had not exceeded 10%.

“In general, no adjustment should exceed 10%. So, we can adjust upwards to a maximum of 10%, or downwards to a maximum of 10%.

“If [for example] you have a 300-mark paper, you cannot take away marks from learners in excess of 30 marks, nor can you add more than 30 marks.

“When circumstances so dictate, Umalusi is allowed to exceed that, but that is exercised in an extremely judicious manner. I am happy to report that in no stage in the 2010 standardisation did we exceed the bounds that we have explained,” he said. — Sapa