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Umalusi won't drop standards of its papers to improve pass rate

Umalusi said while it cannot pin point the factors for this year’s drop, it’s investigating the matter.

FILE: Umalusi offices in Pretoria. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Quality assurance body Umalusi said the standard of its papers cannot be dropped just to improve the matric pass rate.

Umalusi revealed yesterday that the 2015 matric results are worse than last year's.

The results are expected to be released next week.

Umalusi's John Volmink said while there were compelling reasons to adjust this year's exam papers, it will not address the root of the problem.

"We can't fix education on these grounds, on making adjustments, that's not an improvement and progress."

Volmink said interventions should take place in the classroom.

"But the difference can only happen in the classroom. There has to be better teaching and learning."

Umalusi said while it cannot pin point the exact factors that caused this year's drop, it's investigating the matter to avoid a repeat in 2016.

However, Volmink said after studying the results, he's still satisfied.

"Nothing has compromised the integrity and credibility of the examination process."

The assurance body said the performance of pupils in mathematics, science and accounting continues to decline and has called for urgent intervention.

Meanwhile, Umalusi said 26 alleged cases of group copying occurred during the 2015 matric exams.

Incidents have been reported in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo and Mpumalanga.

In the latest case, two people were arrested for leaking the life sciences papers in Limpopo.

Volmink said, "In Gauteng, six [cheating incidents were reported], KwaZulu Natal, 12, Limpopo, one, Mpumalanga, seven. Further investigations are underway; and the results from the implicated centres will remain blocked."

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