Response to the claims made by The Sowetan newspaper on the issue of the Grade 12 National Senior Certificate reults as reported on Friday 7 January 2011 - Sowetan gets it wrong
7 Jan 2011The Department of Basic Education wishes to respond emphatically to the allegations that the National Senior Certificate (NSC) pass rate as announced by the Minister of Basic Education, Mrs Angie Motshekga at the Union Buildings on 6 January 2011 was incorrect.
The Sowetan bases its miscalculations on the number of learners (full time and part time) who enrolled to write the examinations, rather than on those who actually wrote. The Department compiled a comprehensive technical report which clearly makes the distinction between full and part time candidates who registered to write and the numbers of full time candidates in schools who actually wrote.
The enrolment figures were indeed the biggest on record. 642 001 (full time and part time) learners registered to write the Grade 12 NSC examinations in 2010, representing an increase of 21809 compared to December 2009. This figure of 642 001 comprises 559 166 full time candidates and 82 835 part time candidates.
The Grade 12 candidates (full time and part time) who registered to write the examinations was 642 001. While 559 166 full time candidates registered to write the examinations, the number of full time learners who actually wrote the examinations was 537 543. Full time candidates are those who are based at public or independent schools.
Repeater candidates are those who were unsuccessful in one or more subjects in the 2009 NSC examinations. The repeater candidates are attached to an institution only for examination purposes and are allowed to enroll for subjects they did not pass in previous examinations. The increased enrolment is attributed in the main to the number of candidates who repeated the NSC examinations as part time candidates. As part time candidates who are not at school, the results of part time learners are not included in the overall percentage pass rate, and have never been included historically.
364 513 full time learners out of a total of 537 543full time candidates have passed. Thus the Department’s calculations of the percentage pass rate of 67.8% for full time candidates are absolutely correct.
At no stage yesterday did The Sowetan attempt to clarify their erroneous calculations with the Department’s officials. While the country celebrated the increased percentage pass rate as good news for education and the country as a whole, the reporters at The Sowetan were attempting to find something that would detract from the outstanding results. One can only surmise that this kind of sloppy journalism is an attempt to embarrass the Minister, the country and indeed the Class of 2010. And to sell more newspapers at the expense of our children’s achievements!
Indeed, The Sowetan owes the Minister, the country and the Class of 2010 an apology. We trust that this will be given the same prominence as the front page splash and headlines that the newspaper used to advertise its assertions.
Cell: 072 148 9575
Issued by: Department of Basic Education
7 Jan 2011
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