Is Mpumalanga’s matric pass rate ‘cooked’ after all?

James Masango MPL

Provincial Chief Whip of the Official Opposition

The DA is highly concerned over allegations of independent schools in Mpumalanga manipulating their matric pass rates through what can only be described as fraudulent means.

Reports today suggest that schools divide Grade 11 classes into A and B lists of learners who may and may not pass the matric exams. Only the A-list candidates are registered, while both groups write the exams. The B-list candidates are given photocopied question papers, only to be informed afterward that they failed, or that their results are missing.

In response to earlier allegations of A and B lists in Mpumalanga, the DA directed written questions to education MEC Reginah Mhaule asking her about the practise. The MEC replied that the department did not make use of this method, and that all learners were given equal opportunity to sit for their matric exams.

If MEC Mhaule tried to cover up the truth, it means the massive improvement in Mpumalanga’s matric pass rate of the past few years is actually fraud on a grand scale.

To this end, the DA will submit more written questions to MEC Mhaule requesting a full statistical breakdown of all secondary school enrolments in the province since 2008, and request the MEC to specify the total learners in each grade, per school, for each year.

We will also, through our colleagues in Parliament, request basic education minister Angie Motshekga to investigate the allegations, as well as write to Umalusi requesting that body to release the full statistics, per school, of registrations and pass rates for matric examinations since 2008.

Mpumalanga’s matric pass rate has been the subject of controversy for over a decade, and it’s high time government takes appropriate action and brings certainty to parents and learners alike.

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