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Matrics are feeling confident after writing their first mathematics and mathematical literacy exams, with most saying they expected the papers to be more difficult.
Mandilakhe Khedeni of Chris Hani High School said yesterday’s exam had motivated him for the second mathematics exam on Monday.
“It wasn’t difficult, it was manageable. I’m sure I passed. I’m all ready for paper 2 now,” Mandilakhe said.
Ovayo Wotshele, who is rewriting maths and physical science to improve her results from last year, said the exam was challenging, but “not that difficult”.
Aphiwe Matyila, of Fairbairn College, said the mathematical literacy paper 1 was “a breeze”.
More than 15 000 matric pupils wrote mathematics paper 1 and more than 29 000 mathematical literacy paper 1.
This year 1 321 more pupils are writing mathematics, and 3 776 more writing mathematical literacy than last year.
Bronagh Casey, spokeswoman for Education MEC Donald Grant, said the department expected an increase in the pass rates.
“In 2011 we had a 68.7 percent pass rate for mathematics, and a 93.3 percent pass rate for mathematical literacy.
“In our 2009 strategic plan we had set a target of 13 500 passes. But given that there are 15 625 candidates writing this year, we do not believe we will reach that target.
“However, we are expecting an increase,” she said.
Casey added that the department was working hard to encourage more pupils to take maths and science, launching a mathematics and physical science strategy in May.
“In the next five years the WCED will be investing about R113 million in this strategy, with R12.4m being budgeted for the current financial year,” she said.
The strategy would be rolled out to schools in stages and was also aimed at encouraging schools to increase the number of Grade 10 pupils taking mathematics and physical science.
l In Limpopo the education department is investigating claims that three schools received unsealed matric exam scripts. Limpopo DA leader Jacques Smalle said the unsealed scripts were delivered to two schools in Blouberg and one in Makhado.