South Africa Releases Results Of 2020 School-Leaving Exams Postponed After Leak Scandal

South Africa Releases Results of 2020 School-Leaving Exams Postponed After Leak Scandal

The Department of Basic Education of South Africa on Monday released results of school-leaving exams, known in the country as matric exams, which were postponed from May and June to December due to a scandal over the leak of physics and mathematics papers to a number of students

JOHANNESBURG (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 22nd February, 2021) The Department of Basic Education of South Africa on Monday released results of school-leaving exams, known in the country as Matric exams, which were postponed from May and June to December due to a scandal over the leak of physics and mathematics papers to a number of students.

The department said that over a million students took the exam, and results showed that over 76 percent of them passed, which shows more than a five percent drop when compared to last year. Education Minister Angie Motshekga noted that last year was a difficult year for education amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We must ensure that no child is left behind. Our basic education is on the rise. Last year during my budget vote I spoke of increasing programmes that target to improve quality of learning. Our interventions were targeting those at risk, moderate, and high achievers. This we did to fight learning deficiencies to improve their performance and this we had to do despite the devastation brought on by Covid-19. An inclusive education system adds to an inclusive economy and an inclusive society," Motshekga said, and thanked all parents, teachers, students and stakeholders.

Advocacy group Equal Education said in a statement that it welcomed the pass rate but added that the health crisis and the leaking of papers were two hurdles for the matric exams.

The South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU) also welcomed the 2020 pass rate and commended teachers and learners for their resilience.

"We know very well that 2020 was the worst year for any matriculants. The matriculants had very little time to prepare and to have one on one with their teachers due to Covid-19. However, I would like to commend both teachers and the learners for using little time that they had when they went back to school to prepare. They sacrificed their mornings, they sacrificed their late afternoon, weekends and holidays to prepare for the examinations," SADTU media liaison officer Nomusa Cembi told Sputnik.

The Department of Basic Education worked with stakeholders in charting the way forward and an investigation into the source of the leaked question papers was initiated. The exams were then re-written on December 15. Those responsible for leaking the questions papers were since arrested.