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'Matric pass rate measurements are misleading'

WC education dept maintains the pass rate figure is not an accurate indication of performance.

WC education dept maintains the pass rate figure is not an accurate indication of performance. Picture: Education Ministry.

CAPE TOWN - Western Cape's provincial education department have warned that matric pass rate measurements are misleading.

The department is urging the Basic Education Ministry to also consider the pupil retention rate when compiling the national matric pass figure.

The province argues had this been the case, in 2013, the province would have ranked first and not fourth.

The provincial government says it was slammed for a "mediocre performance" in 2013 National Senior Certificate exams.

But the province maintains the pass rate figure is not an accurate indication of performance, because other provinces have a higher dropout rate than the Western Cape.

The department wants the retention rate to be taken into account.

'CULLING'

Western Cape's Premier has accused other provinces of using a controversial method called 'culling' to inflate matric marks.

Helen Zille says this ensures weaker pupils are pushed out before they reach matric.

This, she argues, results in a higher percentage pass rate for the respective province as the number of matrics would have decreased.

Zille says this is misleading and the goal is to make sure those weaker students are retained within the education system.

"We are determined to prevent culling because it doesn't help weaker students to be marginalised from the education system. They need to be retained in the system and have a good crack at writing matric and passing it."

For a breakdown on the figures click here.

(Editd by Leeto M Khoza)