2013’s ‘good news’ matric results

Tom Stokes, MPP

DA KZN Spokesperson on Education                       

The credibility of 2013’s ‘good news’ matric results – on the eve of a vital national election – is open to question.

It is difficult to square the significant improvement in the matric pass rate with the dismal ANA results recently released. Only about 5% of Grade 9 pupils achieved more than 50% in literacy and numeracy in these appraisals.  Yet, when they get to Grade 12, this percentage increases tenfold.

How this happens is still to be revealed and today’s call by DA Leader, Helen Zille, for an independent verification of the credibility of the matric exams is entirely warranted.

Of particular interest in the 2013 matric results is the relegation of the Western Cape to fourth place with the Free State – yes, the province that failed to deliver textbooks – to first place.

One can only assume that some kind of massaging of statistics took place to achieve this ranking with the move aimed at lifting the spirit in those provinces where the ANC is facing disillusionment amongst voters who are seeking evidence that all is still well in the ruling party.

Under such circumstances one wonders what will happen when a pass rate of 100% is eventually attained by all provinces and whether we will then finally abandon the matric exam as ultimately irrelevant and invalid.