ATC150429: Report of the Portfolio Committee on Basic Education on attending the Council for Quality Assurance in General and Further Education and Training (Umalusi) and the Department of Basic Education (DBE) Standardisation of 2014 National Senior Certificate (NSC) Examination Marks Meeting, dated 14 April 2015.
Report of the Portfolio Committee on Basic Education on attending the Council for Quality Assurance in General and Further Education and Training (Umalusi) and the Department of Basic Education (DBE) Standardisation of 2014 National Senior Certificate (NSC) Examination Marks Meeting, dated 14 April 2015.
The Portfolio Committee on Basic Education, having attended the Council for Quality Assurance in General and Further Education and Training (Umalusi) and the Department of Basic Education (DBE) Standardisation of 2014 NSC Examination Marks meeting on 23 December 2014 at the Sheraton Hotel, Pretoria, reports as follows:
- The Portfolio Committee on Basic Education received an invitation from Umalusi and the Department of Basic Education to send a multi-party delegation to attend its annual Standardisation of Examination Marks meeting at the Sheraton Hotel, Pretoria on 23 December 2014.
- The delegation comprised the following members of the Portfolio Committee on Basic Education: Hon N Gina MP (ANC), Hon N Mokoto, MP (ANC) (Whip), Hon T Khoza MP (ANC), Hon D Mnguni MP (ANC), Hon A T Lovemore MP (DA) and Hon A M Mpontshane MP (IFP).
- Members of staff who formed part of the delegation included Mr D Bandi (Content Advisor), Mr M Kekana (Parliamentary Researcher), Mr L Brown (Committee Secretary) and Mr D Arendse (Committee Assistant).
2. Background and Principles
The meeting proceeded with an initial welcome and opening remarks by Prof J Volmink (Chairperson: Umalusi) and introductory remarks by Dr M Rakometsi (Chief Executive Officer: Umalusi) and Mr S Padayachee (Acting Director-General: Department of Basic Education). Dr Rakometsi touched on the aims, mandate and key functions of Umalusi. He further alluded to the visits conducted by Umalusi in respect of examination readiness as well as a detailed report to be submitted to the Minister regarding provincial “good practice”.
Mr Padayachee mentioned that the process was a culmination of a long journey that started in 2003 when the current Grade 12 Learners entered Grade 1. He further mentioned that the standardisation processes ensured fairness within the system and safeguarded the integrity of the National Senior Certificate examinations.
The meeting received a detailed breakdown of the standardisation principles which applied to the standardisation of the examination marks as follows:
- In general, no adjustment should exceed 10 percent of the Historic Average;
- Adjustments in excess of 10 percent could be considered at the upper end to increase the number of distinctions in a subject;
- In the case of the individual candidate, the adjustment effected should not exceed 50 percent of the mark obtained by the candidate;
- If the distribution of the raw marks was below the Historic Average, the marks could be adjusted upwards, subject to the limitations;
- If the distribution of the raw marks was above the Historic Average, the marks should be adjusted downwards, subject to the limitations;
- The computer adjusted mark was calculated based on the above principles;
- For those subjects with a practical component of 50 percent, raw marks could be accepted; and
- Umalusi, however, retained the right to amend these principles where and when deemed necessary based on sound educational principles.
The main objective of standardisation was to ensure that learners were not unduly advantaged or disadvantaged by extraneous factors other than their knowledge of the subject, abilities and their aptitude. It further helped to achieve comparability and consistency on an annual basis.
3. Presentation of Results for Standardisation
During standardisation, performance in each subject was analysed statistically and qualitatively by a team of experts. Due to the nature of the meeting, and by request of Umalusi, details of the proceedings were held in a closed session. None of the discussions, deliberations and decisions were open for reporting in any way.
After closing remarks by Mr Padayachee and a final word from Dr Rakometsi, the meeting adjourned.
Report to be noted.
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