Tone down matric euphoria: Sadtu
The education department needs to place as much emphasis on the other grades as it does on matric, teachers' union Sadtu said on Monday.
"We would like to urge the department to tone down the misleading euphoria it creates on matric and give all phases and grades equal... resourcing and support, as this would automatically lead to good matric results," the SA Democratic Teachers' Union said in a statement.
It expressed disappointment with the high drop-out rate of pupils over the past 12 years.
"Schools are manipulating the learner promotion and progress because of pressure to produce better senior certificate results. This contributes to the dropout of learners, especially in grades nine, 10 and 11," the union said.
Sadtu argued that one reason for the drop in the overall pass rate, to 75.8 percent from 78.2 percent in 2013, was due to teachers not being properly trained to implement the new Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (Caps), which aims to increase the quality of education.
The union was concerned about the alleged group cheating in several exam centres, in which teachers are suspected of being involved.
"Sadtu condemns this act in the strongest terms possible, but wants to emphasise that our education system is focused on quantity instead of quality and this inherently puts teachers into an uncomfortable corner with undue pressure. It is this pressure that sometimes forces schools to commit such acts."
Twenty-eight exam centres in KwaZulu-Natal and 16 in the Eastern Cape were being investigated for cheating.