POLITICS

DBE must stop cooking the books of learning ? Mmusi Maimane

Maimane challenges Angie Motshekga to a public debate regarding 30% pass rate among other topics

30% Matric pass mark: DBE must stop cooking the books of learning for political convenience

11 January 2022

The One South Africa Movement (OSA) takes note of the futile attempts by the Department of Basic Education (DBE) to avoid accountability for the ongoing 30% pass mark sham.

This follows the launch of OSA's public petition calling for the 30% pass mark to be scrapped and replaced by a 50% minimum standard.

The petition, which currently has 10 000 signatures and counting, posits that a 30% pass mark for subjects at matric level undermines the intellect of South Africa's youth and allows for the entrenchment of mediocrity and low expectations.

In addition, it allows the DBE and the Minister of Basic Education to obfuscate and escape accountability for the basic education crisis. And the spin-doctoring performed in recent media interviews by the DBE's spokesperson, Elijah Mhlanga, proves this point.

The truth is the DBE's standards for passing matric are too low. The DBE's own NSC Diagnostics Report shows that the overwhelming majority students who take crucial subjects in matric pass those subjects with less than 50%.

The Report's data shows that over the past six-year period (2015 — 2020), a concerningly small percentage of students who passed matric achieved 50% or higher in crucial subjects.

Specifically:

In Mathematics, 21.3% of students achieved 50% of higher

In Physical Science, 27.1% of students achieved 50% of higher

In Accounting. 28.8% of students achieved 50% of higher

In Life Sciences 29.6% of students achieved 50% of higher

In Economics. 20.7% of students achieved 50% of higher In Business Studies, 28.4% of students achieved 50% of higher

Basic education in South Africa is in crisis mode and instead of fixing the root causes, the DBE is fudging numbers for political convenience.

Angie Motshekga's department is failing to equip our young people to compete and win in the global economy. It's time for innovative ideas, transparent leadership and ardent public activism to fix the mess.

In this light, OSA challenges the Minister of Basic Education. Angie Motshekga, to appear on a public platform of her choice to defend the state of education in South Africa. The Minister can select the medium of her choice — be it television, radio or any other digital platform. OSA has set out its case, it's time for the Minister to do the same.

OSA will continue to advocate for affordable, quality education for every young person - from the earliest stages of schooling to high-level degrees. An inclusive education which prepares students for a future economy, opportunities for lifelong learning and for a career of their choice.

Issued by Mmusi Maimane, One South Africa Movement, 11 January 2022