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Basic Education Dept to hold indaba to review maths pass mark

The department’s Elijah Mhlanga says the decision was made for 2016 learners between grade 7 and 9.

Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG – The Basic Education Department says it will on Monday host a mathematics indaba in Pretoria to review its policy on the mathematics pass mark.

The current policy states that even if pupils pass all other subjects with distinctions, but get less than the threshold of 40% for mathematics, they fail the year.

The department says while there is no such a thing as a 20% pass mark for mathematics, it has taken a decision to condone learners who have passed all other subjects but failed mathematics with a minimum of 20%.

The department’s Elijah Mhlanga says the decision was made for 2016 learners between grade 7 and 9 because the policy is under review.

Mhlanga says it has been unfair to those who do not want to pursue mathematics after grade 10.

“It’s unfair to make them repeat a grade when in fact they’ve passed all the other subjects, except for mathematics. So to force them to take something that they will not need in the future and hold them back because they’re not able to obtain the required level, is not fair.”

Mhlanga says they are now reviewing this rule because it has been unfair to those who do not want to pursue maths from grade 10.

“People call this a 20%pass mark when we’ve said it is not correct because that suggests there is a policy change; it suggests 20% is a pass when in fact it is and it is a fail.”

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)