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'2015 matric results need to be carefully scrutinised'

Basic Education Minister is due to announce the national senior certificate pass rate tomorrow.

FILE: A pupil holds their matric report card. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Rights group Equal Education said the 2015 matric results need to be carefully scrutinised.

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga is due to announce the national senior certificate pass rate tomorrow.

Over 800,000 pupils wrote the latest exams.

Concerns have been raised over this year's pass rate after quality assurance body, Umalusi, revealed it's much worse than last year's.

Despite this, the department said a large number of pupils, who have passed Grade 12, have obtained university entrance.

Spokesperson Ntuthuzo Ndzomo said the national senior certificate is a limited measure of the quality and performance of the country's education system.

"We believe that something is still going to happen which is still going to occur if we don't actually deal with the reality that the matric results are misleading. We believe it's a limited measure of the quality and the performance of the schooling system in South Africa."

Last week, Umalusi said the standard of its papers cannot be dropped just to improve the matric pass rate.

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.