Public is barred from debate on new matric plan

THE public will not take part in the debate on how to regulate the scoring of pupils writing matric under the new curriculum.

THE public will not take part in the debate on how to regulate the scoring of pupils writing matric under the new curriculum.

This follows a decision by the Ministry of Education to withdraw the opportunity for the public to participate in the debate.

"It is clear the regulations as they stand now are not properly defined and are subject to misinterpretation" Deputy Minister of Basic Education Enver Surty said in a statement yesterday.

The move follows a report in the Sunday Times revealing that the department was planning to introduce a system in which pupils could qualify for a matric distinction if they obtained 80percent in just three of the six externally examined subjects and a minimum of 60percent in three others.

Traditionally an overall distinction (known as an A pass) has always been accepted as being 80 percent of a pupil's total marks in all subjects.

Senior academics, including former University of Cape Town chancellor Mamphela Ramphela, have shot down the plan, describing it as "dumping down and a move towards mediocrity".

Yesterday Surty denied that his office had any intention to introduce changes that would undermine the standard of the pupils' matric performance.

"We have no intention to change the pass marks or university endorsement for candidates. We will not change them and we thus reject any insinuation that the department is about to downgrade the distinction marks for candidates," Surty said.

"We are continuing to pursue excellence in our education while eliminating all forms of mediocrity."

The DA yesterday gave Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga low marks for her management of the portfolio, following the Sunday Times report.

Motshekga was quoted as saying she found the proposal "quiet strange".

The minister said she still had to familiarise herself with the proposal.

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