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To: Mrs Angie Motshekga, Minister of Basic Education

Raise standards, don't lower pass marks

The period for public submissions came to an end.

Raise standards, don't lower pass marks

Don't lower the pass mark required to pass home languages in Grades 7, 8 and 9

Why is this important?

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga proposed to lower the school pass mark for Grades 7,8 and 9 in public schools to help review the entire General Educations and Training Band (GET) phase [1]. Currently, learners who get below 50% in their home language are not allowed to progress to the next grade. A minimum pass rate of 40% means that learners will be promoted while not knowing 60% of their work content.

This proposal promotes mediocrity lowers expectations for learners to progress and sets them up for failure in the future when they have to enter tertiary education and standards are higher. Government should look at improving the environment of teaching and address failing infrastructure. This is a quick-fix solution that will merely increase the number of learners who progress through school. It is common knowledge across Mzansi that classes are overcrowded. On top of that, there is an increasing expectation on parents to help their children with homework.

[1] https://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/Local/Hillcrest-Fever/are-we-setting-the-bar-too-low-20180313

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Updates

2018-03-27 10:55:18 +0200

10 signatures reached