Motshekga goes after DA MP for sharing matric results data with the media

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Motshekga goes after DA MP for sharing matric results data with the media

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\n Katharine Child | 2017-01-24 12:37:44.0\n \n \n \n \n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n \n\n \n\n\n \n \n

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\n \n \n \n Education Minister Angie Motshekga\n \n \n \n
Image by: Vathiswa Ruselo\n \n \n \n

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\n Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga is not taking claims that matric marks were unfairly inflated in the moderation process lying down.\n

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She has accused DA member of Parliament Gavin Davis of unethical conduct for discussing confidential information about how matric marks are adjusted each year.

Motshekga is upset that Davis attended the Umalusi meeting on the standardisation of marks in January‚ and failed to sign a confidentiality agreement or alert the meeting chairperson that he not done so.

Instead‚ he discussed the large upward adjustments in 28 matric subjects and his concerns about them with the media. Motshekga on Monday wrote to the DA’s chief whip in the National Assembly to say Davies had “violated the fundamental tenets of confidentiality”.

Umalusi moderates marks to ensure each year’s results can be fairly compared‚ even if the exams differ in difficulty or the markers differ.

But Davis has publicly asked why so many marks were increased – some by as much as 9% – without enough evidence being provided that the 2016 exams were genuinely more difficult than the 2015 exams.

Davis has attempted to get more data to explain the increase in marks‚ including the external moderators’ reports on the matric exams.

These reports would explain if the exams are of equal difficulty‚ but Umalusi has refused to provide them. If they say this‚ then Umalusi would have a difficult time explaining why so many marks were increased.

Davis said he didn’t understand the secrecy around marks and the standardisation process.

“In an open democracy‚ we should be able to understand why marks are being adjusted‚” he said.

“Our papers go through a very extensive moderation process. Why do we go through this process and then so many marks need to be lifted?”

Stellenbosch University’s Dr Nic Spaull‚ an economist with an interest in education research‚ has for two years said that the marks may be adjusted upwards because of the weaker class of matrics writing exams in past two years rather than harder exams.

The past two matric classes have included a high number of progressed learners who failed Grade 11 or Grade 10‚ and they may be dropping the pass marks.

Spaull said: “I think this remains an open question and I am quite anxious about the very large adjustments that Umalusi is making‚ assuming that the tests are getting much more difficult when the most plausible explanation is the inclusion of many more weaker students that typically would have dropped out in the past.” – TMG Digital/The Times

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