Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Debate around increase in pass requirements rages on

Lusanda Bill
25 November 2014

The National Professional Teachers Organisation said it is necessary to increase the pass requirements at school but the way it has been done has disadvantaged pupils. 

This follows the Department of Basic Education on Monday stating that the as from this year schools will adjust their exams scores for pupils in Grade 7, 8 and 9.

The organisations Basil Manuel said the change was too soon. Schools who are setting their exams at a particular level find that more than 50% of the children are failing. However they are not failing because they don’t know the work but because the pass requirements have changed and they are required to know much more.

Manuel said this increase in pass requirement must be done in batches and not in one go because it will not turn out good for the pupils.

Meanwhile the Democratic Alliance said it believes that increasing the pass requirements needs proper support for teachers and students. 

DA MP of Basic Education Annette Lovemore said merely increasing pass requirements cannot increase the quality of education. 

Lovemore said the Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga is now having to intervene and allow schools to adjust their marks so that they do not have a high failure rate. The effective is the pass marks will be exactly the same as they were previously.

“What the Minister has to do is to go back to basic, she has to make sure that our children can read, write, understand what they read and apply what they read before she can look at sophisticated solutions like increasing the pass mark that can come, but reading and writing must come first” Lovemore added.  

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