Umalusi South Africa on matters regarding National Senior Certificate Examinations

Umalusi South Africa on matters regarding National Senior Certificate Examinations

Umalusi is concerned about the effect of protest actions on the smooth running of the examinations

Umalusi, the Council for Quality Assurance in General and Further Education and Training, is concerned about the recent protest actions in some parts of the country which have resulted in some candidates either missing the National Senior Certificate examination or writing it later than originally scheduled.

In the North-West Province arrangements have had to be made for approximately 460 candidates to be compensated for the time lost, while just over 50 candidates in Gauteng could not write the examination due to community protests. In Mpumalanga, approximately 1 130 candidates were prevented from accessing their examination centres where they were scheduled to write either Mathematics or Mathematical Literacy Paper 2 examination.

Umalusi commends the Department of Basic Education for making arrangements for the affected candidates to be afforded the opportunity to write the examinations which were missed due to no fault of their own. Umalusi wishes to reiterate its position that it discourages communities from using national examinations as leverage for their protest actions. While Umalusi respects the Constitutional right of every citizen to protest, candidates should also be allowed to exercise their right to education by writing the examinations without any form of hindrance.

Umalusi is equally concerned about the alleged problematic questions in the Mathematics Paper 2 question paper administered by the Department of Basic Education. In this regard, the standard procedure for dealing with such issues is the marking guidelines or memoranda standardisation meetings during which problematic questions are moderated in consideration of candidates’ answers. Depending on the magnitude of the problem, the marks allocated to the question/s may be excluded from the question paper’s total marks or that alternative responses may be accepted.

The External Moderators of Umalusi attend these meetings and take responsibility for signing off the final marking guidelines after considering the responses of candidates and the deliberations. The fine-grained details of how the concerns were dealt with would be submitted for the consideration of Umalusi at the end of the marking process.

Another matter about which Umalusi is concerned involves the South African Comprehensive Assessment Institute’s (SACAI) premature release of two question papers on 11 November to Umalusi. These are the Physical Sciences Paper 2 and the Life Sciences Paper 1 which are scheduled to be written on 14 November and 18 November respectively. It is a requirement for assessment bodies to submit question papers to Umalusi after the writing of each paper so that Umalusi can perform its post-examination quality assurance processes prior to the standardisation of results.
Instead of releasing Paper 1 of Physical Sciences, which was written on 11 November, the SACAI erroneously released Paper 2 which is scheduled to be written on 14 November. Since the erroneous release of question papers has the potential to put the credibility of the examination at risk, the SACAI has withdrawn the papers released in error and will substitute them with backup question papers.

Umalusi urges all the assessment bodies and stakeholders to do everything possible to ensure that the integrity of the 2022 national examinations is not compromised.

Enquiries: Biki Lepota Senior Manager: Public Relations and Communications Biki.Lepota© Cell number: 076 920 6184