Johannesburg - Umalusi, the South African Council for Quality Assurance in General and Further Education and Training, on Friday said it has approved the "credible" results of the 2017 matric examinations which will be officially released on January 4.
"Having studied all the evidence presented, and having noted that there were no systemic irregularities reported that might have compromised the credibility and integrity of the November 2017 National Senior Certificate (NSC), the executive committee of council approves the release of South African Comprehensive Assessment Institute (SACAI) results for the November 2017 NSC examinations," chairperson of the Umalusi Council, Professor John Volmink told a media briefing in Pretoria.
Volmink said the quality of question papers is a very important aspect of the integrity and credibility of the examination. "It is therefore pleasing to see a marked improvement in the overall quality of question papers across the assessment bodies as more papers are approved after first or second submission to external moderators."
"Umalusi conducted the external moderation of question papers and a sample of site-based assessment marks across all assessment bodies. The council also monitored the conduct and marking of exams, as well as selection of markers in all the nine provincial departments of education, including all private assessment bodies," he said.
Volmink also had a message for learners who will discover in January that they have not passed. "To those who have not succeeded, there is another chance for you next year, so work hard and do well. We wish you all the best for 2018."
The class of 2017 was the fourth Grade 12 cohort to write final examinations under the curriculum assessment policy statements (CAPS).
Volmink hinted that the cohort of 2017 had moved closer to the average historical performance profile.
"It is pleasing to see that there is a steady upward trend in the marks of subjects such as Mathematics, Mathematical Literacy, Physical Science and Life Science," he said.
"I want to say we will continue, as Umalusi, to strive for a system that maintains high quality standards in the interest of South African learners. The council is fully aware that some of our learners have to overcome some overwhelming difficulties in order to achieve a qualification, in particular the grade 12 exam.
"We spare no effort in ensuring that we strengthen our education from the bottom up, and continue to strive for excellence in teaching and learning. We just cannot simply depend on the standardisation (of the examination results) process to bring about improvement in the pass rate.
"On behalf of the council I would like to express our hearty congratulations to all the learners who have done well in their exams this year, their teachers, parents, guardians and all that supported the learners," Volmink added.
Umalusi chief executive Mafu Rakometsi said despite minor disruptions experienced in some parts of the country, examinations were largely incident free.
"This attests to the success of the rigid measures put in place by the department of basic education to ensure foolproof and incident-free examinations."
Rakometsi commended the department of education for managing irregularities.
"The South African public can rest assured that the examination system in South Africa has mechanisms to manage irregularities, to avoid lapses in the credibility of examinations."
African News Agency/ANA