Mmusi Maimane Nhlanhla Lux

OneSA Movement leader, Mmusi Maimane. Image: Mmusi Maimane / Twitter

Education Department snubs Maimane: Fury over pass rate ‘misleading’

The Department of Education says that Mmusi Maimane’s fury over the 30% matric pass rate is nothing less than ‘misleading’.

Mmusi Maimane Nhlanhla Lux

OneSA Movement leader, Mmusi Maimane. Image: Mmusi Maimane / Twitter

The Department of Basic Education has snubbed allegations that matriculants can obtain their National Senior Certificate with a 30% pass rate for every subject.

Maimane claims low pass rates harms students

Elijah Mhlanga has spoken out on behalf of the Department in an attempt to clarify pass requirements. This comes after One SA Movement leader Mmusi Maimane started a petition to end the low pass requirement.

Interestingly, Maimane had claimed that the pass rate was set at 30% and that this sets low expectations for students and ultimately does more harm than good.

“We have a crisis in our education system. The minister hides the grim reality of her failure by using the 30% pass mark,”

Mmusi Maimane

Maimane called for Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga’s resignation in addition for demanding a 50% pass mark.

Maimane Pass rate
The Department of Education insists Maimane’s fury over the 30% pass rate for Matric is ‘misleading’. Image: Mmusi Maimane / Twitter

Department sets record straight

In response to this scathing criticism, Mhlanga argued that no single number is used to determine a pass.

The Department spokesperson explained that there are categories which are used to assess levels of achievement with a mark above 30% needed for at least three subjects in order to obtain the certificate.

“Outrage is often expressed over the fact that the lowest possible pass mark per subject is 30%, however, what is not fully understood is that no candidate can obtain a National Senior Certificate if he/she passes all seven subjects at 30%. The learners must pass at least three subjects at 40%,” 

Elijah Mhlanga

50% Pass rate not on the cards

Additionally, Mhlanga says that an increase to a 50% pass rate will not happen due to the education system encouraging ‘different levels of achievement’.

“The 2014 ministerial committee, which recommended several changes to the National Senior Certificate, many of which have been followed through, did not recommend changing the lowest threshold.

“It is acceptable assessment practice to ensure that provision is made for different levels of achievement. All education systems have different levels of passes, not just one pass mark.”

Elijah Mhlanga

During a recent discussion on the matter, Mhlanga snubbed Maimane’s petition as nothing short of ‘misleading’.