Removing subject ‘will lower pass rate’

Cape Town - Removing life orientation (LO) from the Grade 12 examinable curriculum will probably result in a lower pass rate, says the task team appointed to investigate the standard of the national senior certificate.

“The pass rate of the traditional low-achieving pupil group (in the Basic Pass and the Higher Certificate) will probably fall, as LO’s disproportionately high marks are currently inflating pupils’ marks at the lowest levels,” read the report.

Some examinations centres had already been cleared of involvement in any wrongdoing. File picture: Courtney Africa. Credit: INDEPENDENT MEDIA

It was recommended that LO be removed “from the promotion requirements for the national senior certificate”.

“Reduce the Grade 12 LO content, retaining sections related to physical education and career counselling during Grade 12 without either of these topics being assessed.”

Other recommendations included:

The task team members said there were a number of challenges facing the subject.

“While it is widely acknowledged that the content of the curriculum and the learning outcomes are valuable for this age group, the subject does not enjoy the prestige of other subjects and so is often not given serious attention or not taught well. This relatively low prestige and neglect is exacerbated by LO being assessed internally and not in the public examination.”

The team noted that LO was “widely valued as an important subject to inculcate morals and values” and to provide physical education and career advice to pupils.

An examination of raw LO results from 2009 to 2013 found: