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Umalusi pleased with introduction of sign language as matric subject

The council says the matric class of 2018 was the first to write 12 subjects, including sign language.

The Umalusi council briefed the media on 28 December 2018 on the results of the 2018 final matric exams. Picture: Robinson Nqola/EWN

PRETORIA - Umalusi says although new subjects have brought new challenges to the system, it is pleased with the introduction of sign language.

The council says the matric class of 2018 are the first to write 12 subjects, including sign language.

This was revealed during a media briefing in Pretoria on Friday.

Umalusi said that that matric exam results were fair and credible, despite some irregularities.

Umalusi chair professor John Volmink said they had had to adjust the sign language exam results by up to 10% because of challenges it brought to the system as it was new.

He said the results were very low and needed to increase: “South African sign language was a difficult subject because it was the first time being recognised as an official language. So, we had to do the maximum, which is 10%.”

Volmink said although exam papers were assessed by moderators before learners could write, they could only tell after examinations if the papers matched the average knowledge of the learners: “The final test is when everybody has written the paper.”

The council commended the Basic Education Department, the Independent Examination Board and the South African Comprehensive Assessment Institute for reducing the number of irregularities and incidents of cheating by learners.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)