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The Council for Quality Assurance in General and Further Education and Training, Umalusi, published a media statement stating that the release of the 2019 National Matric exam results have been approved.

Quality assurance of the management and administration of exit point examinations in various qualifications per assessment body (institution) has been conducted.

Umalusi commended all institutions for implementing improvement strategies and said they could see the positive effect it had on the overall assessment as well as on teaching and learning. An improvement in learner performance in subjects like Geography, Physical Science and Maths Literacy was noted, which indicates a maturing system.

Umalusi can proudly say that the examinations had no systematic irregularities. However, there were a few challenges along the way. The following incidents were reported:

  • On 16 & 17 October the DBE practical examinations of Computer Applications Technology and Information Technology in certain areas were affected by load shedding but arrangements were made for learners to write on 29 November 2019.
  • The protest action in the North-West threatened the examinations in certain areas of the province but alternative arrangements were made to accommodate these affected students.

“The approval for the release of results is determined by the examination centres’ level of compliance with policies, directives, and guidelines issued by both Umalusi and each of the assessment bodies. Before such an approval is granted, Umalusi Council has to satisfy itself that no systemic irregularities have occurred to undermine the integrity and the credibility of the examination process. To this end, Umalusi requires that each assessment body provides a report on irregularities,” the media statement read.

The standardisation of results mainly aims “to achieve equivalence of the standard of the examination across years, subjects and assessment bodies and to deliver a relatively constant product to the market: universities, colleges and employers,” according to the statement. The Assessment Standards Committee (ASC) of Umalusi decides the adjustments by consistently following a set of guidelines. The ASC has extensive experience and expertise in statistical moderation, assessment, curriculum and education.

It was reported that Professor Prevanand Ramrathan from the University of KwaZulu-Natal predicted that this year’s pass rate for the Western Cape region would be between 82% and 85%, a slight improvement from last year’s pass rate of 81.5%. Debbie Schäfer, MEC of the Western Cape Education Department, added that “Given the circumstances under which we are working – increasing numbers, people coming in Grade 10 from other, weaker provinces, decreasing budgets, increased class sizes and worsening socio-economic circumstances – I am hoping to maintain an above 80% pass rate”.

Overall, Umalusi is satisfied and pleased with the successful and credible conduct of the 2019 National Matric Examination and commends all institutes.