Far too few pupils achieving distinctions – union

More than one million pupils started school in 2006 – but 12 years later, only a small percentage of those who made it to matric last year scored a distinction.

Matriculants last year achieved 1 882 A symbols for maths literacy‚ 272 As for agricultural sciences‚ 5 040 As for accounting and 7 861 As for physical science.

“The quality of the matric pass is still far too low for the sheer number of pupils writing exams‚” teachers’ union Naptosa’s executive secretary Basil Manuel said.

On the fact that there were only a few thousand distinctions per subject‚ Manuel said: “There are far too few in the upper echelons of achievement.”

The Department of Basic Education’s official examination report explains how many A symbols per subject matriculants received.

The passes are a mark between 80% and 100% – a distinction. The 2017 matric class earned: ý 5 040 distinctions in accounting – or 4.9% of all those who wrote – a decrease from the year before;

  • 6 696 distinctions in history 4.5% of all those who wrote – an improvement from 2016;
  • 1 882 distinctions for maths literacy – only 0.6 % of those who wrote the exam, and significantly less than 1.2% of all pupils who achieved A symbols in 2016;
  • 6 726 distinctions for mathematics – 2.7% of those who wrote;
  • 2 343 for business studies‚ representing 1% of all those wrote.

Manuel said these figures did not even show the full extent of the problem, because many matriculants had achieved distinctions in multiple subjects.

In other words‚ only a small pool of pupils had scored top marks.

In calculating, fewer than 1% of pupils who started Grade 1 would achieve distinctions in the gateway subjects of geography‚ mathematics‚ accounting and physical science 12 years later.

Another number that garnered little publicity when matric results were announced was that 15% of matriculants dropped out between January last year and the final exams in November. – TimesLIVE

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