JOHANNESBURG – The Department of Basic Education has approved a dispensation for Grade 7 to Grade 9 learners who have passed all their other subjects but failed maths to be promoted to the next grade.
According to a national assessment circular released on 1 December, a learner who has met all the requirements for passing to the next grade but has not achieved 40 percent in maths and therefore has to be held back, should be condoned (allowed to proceed to the next grade) if their mark is higher than 20 percent.
In the case of Grade 9 learners; those who have achieved between 20-29 percent will not be allowed to take Mathematics as a subject in Grade 10 but will be required to enrol for Mathematical Literacy.
National promotion requirements are that learners from Grade 7-9 must achieve over 50 percent in one home language, over 40 percent in one first additional language, over 40 percent for maths, over 40 percent in three other subjects and at least 30 percent in two other subjects.
The special condonation has changed the maths compulsory requirement. The circular stated that the reason for the change was that “the current set of promotion requirements as set out by the Curriculum and Policy Statement (Caps) may impact negatively on a high number of learners in the phase.”
Out of three research projects conducted by the Southern and Eastern Africa Consortium for Monitoring Educational Quality (SACMEQ) South Africa’s average student maths score placed 8th out of the fifteen countries.