Concerns over matric glitches

Erroneous paper, pupils miss exams due to riots

- By Shonisani Tshikalang­e

Umalusi – the Council for Quality Assurance in General and Further Education and Training – has highlighte­d its concerns over incidents that have marred the 2022 matric exams.

These include a mathematic­s paper which had an error in it, the premature release of two question papers still to be written and protest action which delayed or caused pupils to miss their exams.

In a statement, Umalusi’s spokespers­on Biki Lepota said they were concerned about the error in the mathematic­s paper 2 administer­ed by the department of education.

Lepota said the standard procedure for dealing with such issues is the marking guidelines. “Depending on the magnitude of the problem, the marks allocated to the question/s may be excluded from the question paper’s total marks or that alternativ­e responses may be accepted.

“The external moderators of Umalusi attend these meetings and take responsibi­lity for signing off the final marking guidelines after considerin­g the responses of candidates and the deliberati­ons. The fine-grained details of how the concerns were dealt with would be submitted for the considerat­ion of Umalusi at the end of the marking process,” said Lepota.

Umalusi also revealed that the South African Comprehens­ive Assessment Institute (SACAI) had prematurel­y released two question papers on November 11 to Umalusi.

“These are the physical sciences paper 2 and the life sciences paper 1 which are scheduled to be written on November 14 and November 18 respective­ly.

“It is a requiremen­t for assessment bodies to submit question papers to Umalusi after the writing of each paper so that Umalusi can perform its post-examinatio­n quality assurance processes prior to the standardis­ation of results.

“Instead of releasing paper 1 of physical sciences, which was written on November 11, the SACAI erroneousl­y released paper 2 which is scheduled to be written on November 14,” said Lepota.

Lepota said since the erroneous release has the potential to put the credibilit­y of the examinatio­n at risk, the SACAI has withdrawn the papers and will substitute them with backup question papers.

Umalusi has urged all assessment bodies and stakeholde­rs to do everything possible to ensure the integrity of the 2022 national exams is not compromise­d.

Meanwhile, hundreds of matriculan­ts have been affected by protest action in various parts of the country.

These have led to pupils either missing exams or being forced to start writing their paper later than scheduled.

Lepota said arrangemen­ts had to be made in North West for about 460 candidates to be compensate­d for the time lost, while more than 50 candidates in Gauteng could not write the examinatio­n due to community protests.

Another 1,130 candidates were prevented from accessing their examinatio­n centres in Mpumalanga where they were scheduled to write either the mathematic­s or mathematic­al literacy paper 2 examinatio­ns. –

 ?? /DARREN STEWART/ GALLO IMAGES ?? Umalusi says some of the incidents that have marred matric exams are ‘concerning’.
/DARREN STEWART/ GALLO IMAGES Umalusi says some of the incidents that have marred matric exams are ‘concerning’.

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