There is this silly moment in one of Leon Schuster's slapstick comedies where a policeman is writing his street-side report about a body lying on the pavement. He is struggling, however, to spell the word "pavement". After several attempts he kicks the body from pavement to street and the problem is solved: "The body is lying on the street." I could not help thinking of this silliness when the announcement came that the Department of Basic Education was considering dropping the requirement that pupils pass mathematics in the senior phase (Grades 7-9) to progress further.

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