Education activist calls for 50% pass mark for all grades


An education activist has rekindled calls for the Department of Basic Education (DBE) to increase the pass mark from 30% to 50% for all grades.

Controversial 30% minimum requirement

Various organisations and education activists have been vocal about the controversial 30% pass rate to be scrapped as they believe it affects the South African educational system.

This in the midst of the 2022 final exams.

Hendrick Makaneta suggests that the DBE should drastically change in terms of their admissions mark to be able to produce leaders who can drive the economy and address unemployment.

“Although unemployment in South Africa is currently high, the skills shortage in the mainstream economy tells another story.

“It depicts a problem of graduates who fall by the wayside because their qualifications are not in demand within the economy, hence we still sit with the so-called structural unemployment,” said Makaneta.

In terms of the National Senior Certificate (NSC) pass mark, the Minister of Education, Angie Motshekga earlier this year addressed the misleading debate.

Motshekga said people need to be informed about the educational system and clarified that the 30% mark is a minimum requirement for a single subject and not an average pass mark for matric.

Intermediate phase

Makaneta said the department has to increase the bar and the suggested 50% pass mark be applied as early as the intermediate phase.

He said this will force pupils to work hard to be able to be equipped for the competitive environment. He also weighed in on the issue of progressed pupils and pushing them to the next grade even though they failed.

“By taking learners who struggled severely with the previous grade and usher them into the next grade, we are compounding the problem.

“Soviet Psychologist Lev Vygotsky summarised this problem when he developed the concept of the Zone of Proximal Development in his theory of learning and development. In a nutshell Vygotsky implied that learners need to be in the correct Zone of Proximal Development if they are to perform better.

“Simply put, there is no point in teaching Grade 12 Mathematics to a learner who is developmentally in Grade 6. It is a waste of time,” He added.

The Citizen