Fake news alert for claims that maths pass mark has been reduced to 20%

There is no change to the minimum pass requirements for mathematics in grades 7-12, says the department of basic education.
There is no change to the minimum pass requirements for mathematics in grades 7-12, says the department of basic education.
Image: TOMASA SPIGA

The department of basic education said it noted with “enormous disappointment” social media posts suggesting that the minimum pass requirement for mathematics had been “lowered to 20%” for grades 7-9.

The department said in a statement on Sunday that incorrect news reports in 2016 - that were subsequently clarified - had recently resurfaced and been shared as new information.

“There is no change to the minimum pass requirements," said department spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga. 

He added that the minister had, in 2016, made a special concession as part of a transitional arrangement after the implementation of the new curriculum assessment policy statements (Caps) in senior schools.

“Simply put, the concession applied only to grade 7-9 learners, who had passed all the requisite subjects, except for mathematics, to be allowed to opt for mathematical literacy rather than continuing with pure mathematics,” he said.

Only the minister, through proper channels, could communicate such a message, he said.

“Some people have seemingly fallen victim to this fake news, accusing the minister of having reduced the pass mark for mathematics to 20%. This could not be further from the truth. It is mischievous of some people to take old information and make it look like it is a new policy directive,” said Mhlanga.


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