According to the union, the department had over one million Grade 12 candidates at the beginning of the year, 800800 were registered, but only 512735 wrote the final exams. The union understood some may have died or dropped out during the year, but felt the number was too big to ignore.
Sphiwe Mpungose, EUSA general secretary, was concerned that Motshekga only spoke about the number that registered to write the exams and those who wrote, but did not explain the large gap.
“We deserve to know where the others (288065) disappeared to.”
He called for the rejection of the statistics Motshekga announced, saying this large number were victims of the modularisation programme, where a Grade 11 pupil gets a condoned pass into Grade 12, and in March is placed in the same programme as progressed. Introduced in 2016, the programme allowed pupils to take three subjects one year and three the following year.