According to Sowetan, The Department of Basic Education has instructed public schools to condone all Grade 7 to 9 pupils who have obtained 20% in mathematics.

Newly appointed head of the Western Cape Education Department‚ Brian Schreuder‚ confirmed the news and said that the reason for the new policy was to increase the number of people who will pass mathematics, since pupils tends to do better in other subjects;

“It is true that there is an adjustment that has been made for mathematics‚” he said. He explained that an education task team had recommended several years ago that the pass rate for mathematics be increased to 40% while other subject pass rates were 30%.

He said the system needed a chance to adjust to the change in promotion requirements.

“It’s not fair that one cohort of learners this year suddenly have a more stringent pass rate than last year’s learners …. And so the national department of education is attempting to put in a transitionary process whereby the impact of that decision or increase of standard is phased in over a number of years with adjustment or condonation specifically for grades seven‚ eight and nine‚” he said.

“Mathematics is a huge problem in our society. The quality of mathematics passes‚ the number of passes is a challenge‚” said Schreuder.