DA: Teachers must write matric exams

The DA says teachers should write the matric exams themselves so their training needs can be identified.

The DA says teachers should write the matric exams themselves so their training needs can be identified. Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN - Political parties say the drop in the matric pass rate can't be blamed on the new curriculum alone and say it should be further investigated.

The matric class of 2014 was the first to write final exams under the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statements curriculum.

While this has been given as one reason the pass rate dropped by 2.4 percentage points, parties are saying the quality of teaching should be firmly in the spotlight.

The Democratic Alliance's Annette Lovemore says teachers should write the matric examinations themselves so their training needs can be identified.

"There is a problem in the classroom and we need to identify exactly what those problems are so that we can identify exactly what measures to put in place to address them."

Inkatha Freedom Party member of Parliament and youth leader Mkhuleko Hlengwa says the South African Democratic Teacher Union's campaigning for the ANC in last year's elections is part of the problem.

"They were campaigning for the ruling party, they were not in class, they were not teaching, they were having rallies and spending very little time in the classroom."

The politicians say improving the quality of education is essential in prevent any further decline in the pass rate.

HEADS MUST ROLL

The parties have also called for heads to roll over the cheating they say threatens to undermine the credibility of the matric exams.

Cheating in the 2014 matric finals was detected by certification authority Umalusi in seven provinces, with most of the cases occurring in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape.

While the incidents are under investigation, experts have expressed concern that it appears to indicate collusion between teachers and pupils.

Umalusi last week said its investigation would be wrapped up in March.

Markers found that grade 12s in affected areas sometimes gave the same incorrect answers. Umalusi believes teachers or exam supervisors were involved.

Results at affected schools will be withheld as the probe continues.

The parties say the cheating must be nipped in the bud.