ATC110216: Report on Official Release of the National Senior Certificate Results for 2010
Report of the Portfolio Committee on Basic Education on the Official Release of the National Senior Certificate Results for 2010, dated 8 February 2011.
The Portfolio Committee on Basic Education, having participated in the official release of the National Senior Certificate results for 2010, reports as follows:
1.1 A delegation of the Portfolio Committee on Basic Education undertook a visit to participate in the official release of the National Senior Certificate results for 2010 on Thursday, 6 January 2011 at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.
1.2 The delegation comprised the following members of the Portfolio Committee on Basic Education: Hon H Malgas MP (ANC) (leader of the delegation), Hon N Gina MP (ANC), Hon J Skosana MP (ANC), Hon M T Kubayi MP (ANC) (Whip of the Committee), Hon W James MP (DA), Hon A Mda MP (Cope), Hon A M Mpontshane MP (IFP) and Hon K J Dikobo MP (AZAPO).
1.3 The Ministry and Department of Basic Education comprised: Ms A Motshekga: Minister of Basic Education, Mr E Surty: Deputy Minister of Basic Education, Mr P B Soobrayan: Director-General - Basic Education, Mr S Padayachee: Acting Deputy Director-General - Analysis of Data and Examination Report, Dr S Sishi: Chief Director - Educational Measurement, Assessment and Public Examination, Dr R Poliah: Director - FET Examinations and Assessment, Ms K Sechoaro: NSC Report Writer - Monitoring the Release of Results, Mr P Ngubane: NSC Report Writer - Monitoring the Release of Results, Dr M Ramoroka: NSC Report Writer - Monitoring the Release of Results, Mr T Ngwenya: NSC Report Writer - Monitoring the Release of Results, Mr M Cele: NSC Report Writer - Monitoring the Release of Results, Mr W Venter: Deputy Director - Examination Administration and IT Support, Ms L Maje: Provincial Liaison and Ms C Kehologile: Formatting and Layout of NSC Report.
1.4 Members of staff who formed part of the delegation included Mr L Mahada (Parliamentary Researcher) and Mr L Brown (Committee Secretary).
The national examination system in South Africa is managed by the Department of Basic Education (DBE) supported by the nine Provincial Education Departments (PEDs). National examinations are conducted in accordance with the Regulations Pertaining to the Conduct, Management and Administration of the National Senior Certificate. The DBE monitors the implementation of these regulations, while the heads of examinations in the provinces are responsible for their implementation.
The finalisation of the marking of the National Senior Certificate examinations in December 2010 culminates with an official announcement (broadcast live throughout the country) of these results by the Minister of Basic Education. The Portfolio Committee on Basic Education was invited to attend the official announcement of the National Senior Certificate Examinations for 2010 at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.
3. Opening Remarks - Mr B Soobrayan, Director-General: Basic Education
Mr Soobrayan, in his opening remarks to all present, emphasised that the technical briefing which would follow was embargoed until the official announcement by the Minister of Basic Education. This was to ensure that the relevant information was released simultaneously across the country. He urged those present to practice some restraint in leaking any information disclosed at the meeting. The order of proceedings was as follows:
· Technical Briefing
· Official Opening and Welcome
· Address by the Minister of Basic Education
· Media Conference
· Closing Remarks
4. Technical Briefing – Dr N Sishi, Head of National Examinations: Basic
In his introduction, Dr Sishi touched on the national system of examinations and assessment, with experience gained and expertise developed as the task expanded from the first five national question papers in 2001 to eleven national question papers in 2007. He also mentioned that the “class of 2010” benefited from the extensive assessment support material provided to teachers who were then preparing the first cohort of learners for the National Senior Certificate (NSC).
The Grade 12 NSC examinations were one of the instruments for measuring how government was doing in discharging its responsibility of improving the quality of education. Cause for concern was the gradual decline of the pass rate in the past three years. Dr Sishi talked of the integrity of the national examinations and mentioned that the reasons for the standardisation of results were to ensure that learners were not duly/unduly advantaged by the fluctuation of results, that a consistent quality is produced to mitigate the fluctuation of learners’ performance as a result of factors other than the learners’ performance.
In 2010 the outcomes of the standardisation process were that out of a total of 58 subjects presented for standardisation, the raw marks in 39 subjects were retained. In nine subjects the marks were adjusted upwards and in ten subjects the marks were adjusted downwards. The maximum mark adjustment of 10 percent was not applied in any subject. All adjustments were below the 10 percent limit.
Dr Sishi went on to produce charts with the necessary detailed information indicating:
· the examination cycle
· examination centres
· quintile ranking
· enrolments (Full-time and Part-time)
· marking centres per province
· overall national results (per gender, in different categories)
· overall performance in quintiles
· overall subject performance
All of the above was captured in detail in the Report on the National Senior Certificate Examination Results, of which each member of the Committee had received a copy.
Dr Sishi concluded his presentation by indicating that the supplementary examinations would commence on 14 February 2011 and conclude on 24 March 2011.
5. Address by Hon A Motshekga, Minister of Basic Education
After the official opening, welcome and introductory remarks by the Deputy Minister of Basic Education, Hon E Surty, the Hon A Motshekga, Minister of Basic Education addressed the gathering. This address coincided and was synchronized with the live broadcast across the country at 07:15am that morning.
Hon Motshekga was pleased to announce that the national pass rate for the class of 2010 was 67.8 percent. It presented an impressive increase of 7.2 percent on the 2009 results (60.6 percent), just 2.8 percent short of 10 percent. Provincial pass rates were as follows (from highest to lowest):
1) Gauteng – 78.6 percent (71.8 percent in 2009)
2) Western Cape – 76.8 percent (75.7 percent in 2009)
3) North West – 75.7 percent ( 67.5 percent in 2009)
4) Northern Cape – 72.3 percent (61.3 percent in 2009)
5) KwaZulu-Natal – 70.7 percent (61.1 percent in 2009)
6) Free State – 70.7 percent (69.4 percent in 2009)
7) Eastern Cape – 58.3 percent (51 percent in 2009)
8) Limpopo – 57.9 percent (48.9 percent in 2009)
9) Mpumalanga – 56.8 percent (47.9 percent in 2009)
Minister Motshekga indicated that the improvements needed to be sustained and pushed for the 70 percent mark in 2011 and beyond. There were many schools that needed attention and action. She pledged to continue to work with provinces to target districts for special support, with a planned visit to Bohlabela (Bushbuckridge) before the end of January 2011 to work out ways of providing more assistance to this district. She also indicated that provinces would be requested to prepare intervention strategies for all schools performing below the national average.
She mentioned that the Department had produced “Action Plan to 2014: Towards the Realisation of Schooling 2025” which specified clear outputs and deliverables for 2011. There was a need to focus on putting plans into action, evaluate, monitor and deepen accountability measures in the system. The Department had also started a process of assessing learners at the different exit points (Grades 3, 6 and 9) through Annual National Assessments in literacy and numeracy that were internationally benchmarked. Annual National Assessments would take place in February 2011. She thanked learners of the class of 2010 who had achieved well and encouraged them to do even better at the institutions of higher learning. She reiterated that those who did not succeed should continue to strive hard. They were encouraged to use the supplementary opportunities provided by the Department to enable them to improve on what they have presently achieved.
She concluded with a message to the class of 2010 and a word of welcome to the class of 2011. She also thanked all who gave support to the class of 2010. These included business, media, SABC TV and radio stations, NGOs, faith-based organisations, statutory bodies, unions, parents, teachers, families and communities.
The official announcement by Minister Motshekga was followed by a media conference where the Deputy Minister and Director-General fielded questions from the media present. This was followed by final closing remarks by the Director-General who concluded the proceedings for the day.
Report to be noted.
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