Promoting pupils who fail maths is not the issue — the Department of Basic Education should be dealing with the "underlying problem" of why pupils are failing the subject. This is according to a teacher union‚ which was reacting to the department’s instructions to public schools to condone all grade 7 to 9 pupils who have obtained 20% in mathematics. On December 2‚ the department released National Assessment Circular 03 of 2016‚ entitled "Special condonation dispensation for learners in the senior phase (Grades 7-9)". "There is nothing wrong with the principle of the circular. We understand an intervention has to be made‚ but this opens a door to investigate the causes of this problem [pupils failing maths]. This is a national problem‚" said National Professional Teachers’ Organisation of South Africa executive director Basil Manuel. He said it did not make sense that pupils in grades 7 to 9 were required to obtain a 40% pass mark for maths‚ while those in grades 10 to 12 were requi...

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