The government are trying to kill rumours and denies that the minimum pass requirements for math for gr. 7 to gr. 9 are reduced to 20%. However, education unions believe this is not the biggest concern facing this sector at present.
Chris Klopper, chief executive of the South African Teachers Union said on Monday that the department’s plans to automatically advance pupils in the foundation phase (Gr. 1, Gr. 2 and Gr. 3) should rather to be a bigger concern in education circles.
Mugwena Maluleke, general secretary of the South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadou), also made it clear on Monday that the largest trade union in the sector also does not support the automatic promotion of such pupils.
The unions responded after the Department of Basic Education on Sunday strongly denied rumors on social media platforms that the minimum pass requirement for math was “reduced to 20%” for the senior phase of gr. 7 to gr. 9 and dismissed it as “fake news”.
Department spokeswoman Elijah Mhlanga said in a statement on Sunday that the rumors stem from two 2016 media reports that were both incorrect.
“The department cleared up the misunderstanding at the time after some media platforms reported it incorrectly. The issue seems to have re-emerged and are shared as new information on social media. ”
Mhlanga says there is no change to the minimum pass requirement for math in Gr. 7, Art. 8, Art. 9, Art. 10, Art. 11 and gr. 12.
According to him, Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga made a special concession in 2016 as part of a transitional arrangement following the implementation of the new Caps curriculum in the senior phases.
“Simply put, the concession was only applicable to students of Gr. 7 to gr. 9 who have passed all required subjects, except mathematics, to be promoted to the next degree. If such pupils were promoted, they would be allowed to choose mathematical literacy instead of mathematics. ”
Mhlanga added any policy changes would be made through the required channels.
Klopper agreed on Monday that a few years ago a special concession was made that candidates in the senior phase who had passed all their subjects except maths could be promoted if they had passed maths by 20%.
“However, it was not a general promotion. There were strict requirements attached to it. ”
Our position is that every student should be promoted on merit, unless professional evidence is provided for automatic promotion with plans on how to further support such a student.
He says the SAOU is more concerned about plans for pupils in Gr. 1 to gr. 3 automatically transfer to the next grade. “It will eventually lead to a huge reduction in standards.
“Gr. 4 already has a large increase in the failure rate and the above is only going to make it worse. ”
Maluleke on Monday welcomed the department’s latest explanation of the 20% math pass rush.
“It is unfortunate that issues such as these have to be repeated after they have been cleared up earlier by the department. We should not make education a political game. ”
According to Maluleke, Sadou has already submitted his presentation on the automatic promotion of Foundation Phase pupils to the department.
“Our position is that every student should be promoted on merit, unless professional evidence is provided for automatic promotion with plans on how to further support such a student.”
Mhlanga was not available Monday for comment on the plans to promote pupils in this way.