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Task team to scrutinise matric pass mark

Angie Motshekga will employ a team to analyse the subject pass marks for matrics.

Matriculants from Bhukulani Secondary School in Zondi, Soweto celebrate after receiving their results on 3 January 2013. Picture: Sebabatso Mosamo/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said on Wednesday she has established a ministerial task team to scrutinise the marks needed for matric pupils to pass their subjects.

On Wednesday Motshekga released the 2012 matric results and announced the new national pass rate of 73,9 percent compared to 70,2 percent in 2011.

Questions are being raised about whether the 30 percent pass mark is too low.

But Motshekga said the matter is being addressed.

"Instead of us focusing on the fact that we have more than 65,000 distinctions in only 10 subjects, we are focusing on the fact that 285 children passed with 30 percent in three subjects and 40 percent in four subjects. And then we want to make it an issue."

While the increased national pass rate for matrics has been largely welcomed, there has been some skepticism around it.

Head of the Wits School of Education Ruksana Osman said she was concerned that 40 percent is still considered a pass in subjects like maths and science.

"I would like to know how many of those maths and science passes are at the 40 percent range because you can get lots of students passing, but what is the quality and the average of that pass?"

Meanwhile the Democratic Alliance's Annete Lovemore is worried about maths and science results.

"It was proudly announced that the pass rate for maths was 54 percent, which sounds wonderful. But we are talking about the pass rate at 30 percent. No learner can do anything with that. We need to look at the pass rate being 50 percent."

To access matric results, click here.