Matric marks for 16 subjects increased — Umalusi
The DA expressed concern on Friday over not being allowed to attend this year’s Umalusi matric results adjustment meeting, but Umalusi said they were simply “not invited”. “Last year, the DA, as well as education experts, raised the alarm about the number and size of the upward adjustments,” said Nomsa Marchesi, DA education spokesperson. “While we are pleased to hear that fewer subjects were adjusted, we are concerned that Umalusi has felt the need to block MPs from attending this year’s standardisation meeting to avoid anyone asking questions about these adjustments,” she said.
Last year the DA raised questions over what they regarded as a random and unscientific way of increasing or decreasing a subject’s overall marks if the paper was too easy or too hard, saying it looked like Umalusi was fiddling with the results. Umalusi arranged a workshop for Members of Parliament earlier in 2017 to show MPs how the whole examination process works. Earlier on Friday, Umalusi announced that out of 58 subjects written this year, marks for 16 were increased, and marks for four were decreased.
Last year 28 subjects were adjusted upwards and four downwards. The DA said that while fewer adjustments was good, it was sceptical over the process used because it had not been able to watch as usual. Umalusi spokesperson Lucky Ditaunyane denied that the DA MPs were excluded.
“It’s not that they were not allowed, they were not invited,” said Ditaunyane. “It was more of a courteous practice [past inclusions] rather than standard. It was not really something that we are obliged to do.”
He said the entire examination process is extremely complicated and technical and takes place over 18 months. The two-hour standardisation meeting that the DA is complaining about is the final part. Attending it without having been part of the process, would be like trying to watch the final episode of a 13-part television series, he explained.
Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Basic Education was informed earlier this year of Umalusi’s decision to opt for the closed meeting. He said a DA MP actually arrived at the venue and officials said they would turn a blind eye if the MP decided to “gatecrash”. She opted to leave.
Marchesi said that was herself and although security said they would not stop her, she did not feel welcome to stay. She had also received a letter from Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga on the issue. “The tone of the letter from the minister said I was not welcome,” she said.
Ditaunyane said MPs would have ample chance to ask questions about the standardisation through presentations to the committee by Umalusi, or through the written questions process I Parliament.
The results are expected next Thursday, January 4, 2018.
- ^ News24 (www.news24.com)
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