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Umalusi gives green light for release of 2021 matric results

───   15:07 Tue, 18 Jan 2022

Umalusi gives green light for release of 2021 matric results | News Article
PHOTO: Citizen/Tracy Lee Stark

The council for quality assurance in education, Umalusi, has given the green light for the release of the 2021 matric results.

The council for quality assurance in education, Umalusi, has given the green light for the release of the 2021 matric results.

“Having studied all the evidence presented, the executive committee of the Umalusi Council noted that apart from some examination irregularities identified during the writing and marking of the examinations, there were no systemic irregularities reported that compromised the credibility and integrity of the November 2021 NSC examinations as a whole,” said Umalusi Council chairperson, Professor Jimmy Volmink. 


Umalusi confirms council’s approval

Volmink made the announcement on Tuesday during a media briefing in Pretoria on the council’s approval of the results for the 2021 National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations.

Matric results for public schools will officially be released on Friday, with Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga expected to announce the national results for the class of 2021 during a televised address on Thursday evening.

The five-week-long NSC examinations, which began on 27 October 2021, were written by a total of 897,786 registered candidates, comprising 735,677 full-time candidates and 162,109 part-time candidates.


Exam malpractice

Volmink said the education quality assurance body was satisfied that the NSC exams were administered largely in accordance with the examination policies and regulations.

However, he said they were concerned about incidents of unauthorised and early access to exam papers detected at specific examination centres in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

Volmink condemned this, saying incidents of “examination malpractice” specifically affected subjects of life sciences and agricultural sciences.

“It’s also worrying when people who are trusted with the responsibility of administering and managing the examinations are the very ones who compromise the integrity of the examinations under a misguided pretext of wanting to, quote: ‘help learners’,” Volmink said.

He added that the DBE was required by law to block the results of candidates who were implicated in exam irregularities, including those of candidates who were involved in group copying, pending the outcome of investigations and verification by Umalusi.


Umalusi criterion

The chief executive officer (CEO) of Umalusi, Dr Mafu Rakometsi, explained the criterion followed by the council before it could approve the release of the NSC results.

“The standardisation decisions are all informed by qualitative and statistical reports, which include marking and moderation reports, statistical data as well as evidence-based reports from various assessment bodies,” he said.

Rakometsi said similar to the class of 2020, the basic education sector last year continued to experience the challenges brought by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“It has indeed become clear that the fluidity and uncertainty caused by Covid-19 will remain with us for the foreseeable future, therefore we cannot wish it away.

“However, we can be innovative in how we navigate the ‘new normal’. Thus all stakeholders in education need to find ways to still do their work effectively and efficiently despite the pandemic.”


Matric results in newspapers

After the Department of Basic Education (DBE) announced last week that matric exam results would no longer be published on media platforms – in line with the recently introduced Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA) – the High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday morning ruled against the department’s decision.

This followed an urgent application lodged by AfriForum, Maroela Media, and Anlé Spies – a 2021 matriculant – asking the court to order the DBE to continue with the release of the results on media platforms.

The applicants had argued that the department’s decision to use the POPIA as an excuse was irrational and ill-informed.

The department, which did not oppose the court application, was ordered to pay the applicants’ costs on an unopposed scale and not to reflect the first names and/or surnames of any of the matric pupils o media platforms.


The Citizen

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