SA: Matric results approved for release

Umalusi, the Council for Quality Assurance in General and Further Education and Training, has approved the release of the 2019 national examinations results.

Umalusi has successfully conducted the quality assurance of the management and administration of exit point examinations which include the Independent Examinations Board; South African Comprehensive Assessment Institute (SACAI); Benchmark Assessment Agency; Department of Basic Education and the Department of Higher Education and Training.

“The approval of Umalusi Council for the release of results is determined by the examination centres’ level of compliance with policies, directives and guidelines issued by both Umalusi and each of the assessment bodies.

“Before such an approval is granted, Umalusi Council has to satisfy itself that no systemic irregularities have occurred to undermine the integrity and the credibility of the examination process,” said Umalusi Chairperson John Volmink.

Addressing a media briefing on Friday in Tshwane, he said the 2019 national examinations went smoothly without any systemic irregularities.

Umalusi’s quality assurance process focused on the external moderation of question papers for all subjects/learning areas/instructional offerings across all qualifications and assessment bodies.

It also focused on the verification of a sample of site-based assessment (SBA) marks, monitoring of the assessment bodies’ state of readiness to conduct and manage the 2019 national examinations, monitoring the conduct of examinations, monitoring and verification of marking as well as standardisation of results.

Despite the approval for the release of the results, some of the qualifications assessment bodies have requirements that they need to fulfil.

The Department of Basic Education is required to block the results of the candidates implicated in the irregularities pending the outcome of further investigation by the department and approval by Umalusi.

The department must also block the results of the unaccredited centres, submit a report to explain how these centres were allowed to administer examinations and motivate why the release of the results of these centres should be approved.

In addition, they must address the directives for compliance and improvement and submit an improvement plan to Umalusi by 14 February 2020.

The South African Comprehensive Assessment Institute (SACAI) is required to block the results of the unaccredited centres, submit a report to explain how these centres were allowed to administer examinations and motivate why the release of the results of these centres should be approved.

SACAI is also required to address the directives for compliance and improvement and submit an improvement plan to Umalusi by 14 February 2020.

Examination centres administered by the Department of Higher Education and Training

Volmink said apart from the alleged irregularities noted during the writing of examinations and marking of examination scripts and moderation of Internal Continuous Assessments (ICASS) at some centres, there were no systemic irregularities reported that might have compromised the overall credibility and integrity of the November 2019 NATED Report 190/191 Engineering Studies N2-N3 and Business Languages N3 examinations administered by the Department of Higher Education and Training.

The department is required to block the results of candidates implicated in irregularities; block the results of the 15 unaccredited centres and submit a report to explain how these centres were allowed to administer examinations and motivate why the release of the results of these centres must be approved.

Furthermore, the department is required to attend to the directives for compliance indicated in the quality assurance of assessment report.

With regards to the November 2019 National Certificate (Vocational) levels 2, 3 and 4 examinations administered by the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET), the department is required to block the results of centres and/or candidates implicated in irregularities, pending the outcome of further investigations by the DHET and approval by Umalusi and block the results of centres and/or candidates implicated in irregularities, pending the outcome of further investigations by the DHET and approval by Umalusi.

In addition, the department must block the results of the seven unaccredited centres, submit a report to explain how these centres were allowed to administer examinations and motivate why the release of the results of these centres must be approved and address the directives for compliance and improvement and submit an improvement plan to Umalusi by 14 February 2020.