SEARCHING for scapegoats for South Africa’s perennially disappointing matric results would not aid progress towards better ones, the chairman of the country’s matric marks quality assurer, Umalusi, said on Friday.
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga, who has been repeatedly criticised for leadership failures, is to release the results of the state-set school leaving exams on Wednesday.
Umalusi chairman Sizwe Mabizela said both the state-set exams and those set by the Independent Examinations Board (IEB) — written by the majority of South Africa’s top independent schools — were found to be "fair, valid and credible" and could be released.
"Our constitutional democracy will only mature when we the citizenry stops looking for (scapegoats) and assumes responsibility for our own success. It is not my place to comment on political leadership," Prof Mabizela said.
A total of 647,687 full- and part-time candidates wrote 61 subjects in the state-set exams, and the raw marks were accepted for 44 of the subjects, with an upwards adjustment for four of the remaining 17, and more complex adjustment on 13. Of the 9,493 candidates who wrote the IEB exams, 534 were part-time candidates.
Umalusi also certified the results of the 91,111 National Senior Certificate (Vocational), a "non-academic" matric aimed at giving access to Further Education and Training (FET) colleges — just over half the 167,055 who enrolled for the certificate course.
Prof Mabizela said Umalusi was "gravely concerned" about the high drop-out rate, and the entity, a statutory body, was interested to see the report of a review committee in the new year because the implementation of the curriculum had "left a lot to be desired".
FET colleges had not been adequately resourced or prepared for the influx of school-level students, and the teaching quality was "a problem".