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Chapter 4

CURRICULUM

4.3 PROGRESSION, PROMOTION AND ADMISSION TO POST SCHOOL AND HIGHER EDUCATION

4.3.1Legislative and Policy Framework

ACTS

  • The National Education Policy Act, 1996 (Act No. 27 of 1996) See 4.3.1(b) [NEPA]
  • The South African Schools Act, No. 84 of 1996 [SASA]

 

REGULATIONS

  •  Regulations Pertaining to the Conduct, Administration and Management of the National Senior Certificate Examination (Aug 2008) (Government Gazette No. 31337) and as amended by Regulation Notice No. 371 in Government Gazette No. 37651, dated 16 May 2014 [NR NSCand Regulation Notice No. 1495 in Government Gazette No. 40472, dated 2 December 2016 [NR 40472/2016]

 

POLICIES

  • National Policy pertaining to the Programme and Promotion Requirements of the National Curriculum Statement Grades R-12 (Government Gazette No. 34600 of 12 September 2011 as amended by Government Notices No.1496 and 1497 in Government Gazette, No. 40472 dated 2 December 2016) [NPPPR]
  • National Protocol for Assessment Grades R-12 (Government Gazette No. 34600 of 12 September 2011) and amended as Government Notice No. 1115 and 1116, Government Gazette No. 36042 of 28 December 2012 [NPA]

 

CURCILURS

  • National Assessment Circular No. 3 of 2015 [3/2015]
  • National Assessment Circular No. 1 of 2017 [NA 1/2017]
  • National Circular No. 8 of 2018 [S8/2018]

4.3.2Framework for the Development of School Policy on Progression, Promotion and Admission to Post School and Higher Education

  1. Progression / Promotion Gr R-3
    • Progression within the age cohort should be the norm, unless the learner displays a lack of competence to cope with the following grade’s work. Such a learner should be assessed to determine the level of support required.
    • Guidelines to determine promotion of learners in the Foundation Phase:
      SUBJECT REQUIRED ACHIEVEMENT (7 level scale)
      GRADE R GRADES 1-3
      Lang at Home Language Level Not specified 4
      Lang at 1st Additional Lang Level Not specified 3
      Mathematics Not specified 3
      Life Skills Not specified Not specified
    • A learner who does not meet the requirements for promotion can be progressed to prevent the learner being retained in the Foundation Phase for longer than four years (excluding Gr R, in other words a learner who has done Gr R, can be retained in the Phase for 5 years).
  2. Progression / Promotion Gr 4 to 6
    • Promotion from grade to grade within the age cohort should be the norm unless the learner displays a lack of competence to cope with the following grade’s work.
    • Guidelines to determine a learner’s promotion in the Intermediate Phase:
      SUBJECT REQUIREMENT
      (7 level scale)
      Official Language at Home Language Level* 4
      Official Language at First Additional Language Level* 3
      Mathematics 3
      Any two of the remaining subjects 3
      Remaining subject No requirement, except for evidence of assessment tasks done.
      Immigrant learners:  Only one language but a 3 in all the remaining subjects
      * One of the two languages must be the language of learning and teaching (LOLT)
    • A learner may be retained only once in this phase.
  3. Progression/ Promotion for Grades 7-9
    • Promotion requirements:
      • Home Language- 4 (50%)
      • First Additional Language-3 (40%)
      • Mathematics- 3 (40%)
      • In any 3 other subjects-3
      • In any 2 of the other subjects – 2
    • Progression:
    • A learner may only be retained once in the phase to prevent the learner being retained in this phase for longer than four years
    • Condonation/Mark adjustment: (National Assessment Circular No. 3 of 2015)
    • The number of subjects and the percentage range in which a learner can receive an adjustment will decrease with each successive year of CAPS implementation. In 2015, 2016 and 2017, the following adjustments will apply in Grades 7-9 in a maximum of three subjects.
      The table below indicates the maximum adjustments for each year starting with 2015.

      Year 2015 2016 2017 2018 and beyond
      Maximum % adjustment 7% in 3 subjects 6% in 3 subjects 5% in 3 subjects 2% in Mathematics or any other subject
    • From 2018, a condonation will be applied to individual learners whereby they are awarded a 2% condonation to pass in any one subject.
  4. Promotion in Gr 10-12 (See NR 1495/2016 – Criteria for the Implementation of Progression in Grades 10-12)
    • Requirements
      A learner must comply with the following requirements to be promoted from grade to grade or to be awarded the National Senior Certificate at completion of Gr 12:

      • 40% in three of the seven subjects, one of which must be an official language at Home Language Level;
      • 30% in three other subjects
      • A complete portfolio of evidence of the school based assessment in the seventh subject
      • If a learner has offered a Practical Music subject of one of the Music examination bodies, it counts as an eighth subject and cannot enable the learner to comply with the promotion requirements.
    • Condonation
      • A condonation of a maximum of one subject applies when a Gr 12 final examination candidate requires a maximum of 2% to obtain a pass at either 30% or 40% and as a result complies with the requirements for obtaining the National Senior Certificate (NSC).
      • Condonation does not apply in the case of Gr 10 and 11
    • Supplementary examinations
      A NSC candidate who has not met the minimum certification requirements but requires not more than two subjects to qualify, may register for a maximum of two subjects for the supplementary examinations in the following year.
      For details concerning provisos in this regard, see documents 4.3.1.
    • A learner may be retained only once in this phase.
    • Repetition norm
      • The norm for repetition, namely that a learner may not be retained in the Further Education and Training Phase for a period not exceeding four years will, subject to sub-regulation, only be applied in cases where it is considered as in the best interest of learners to be progressed to the next grade. Considering this, progression to either Grade 10 or Grade 11, is subject to the following criteria-
        • the learner must have failed either Grade 10 or Grade 11, and repeated either Grade 10 or Grade 11 by means of one of the following scenarios-
          • must have repeated Grade 10 and was unable in meeting the promotion requirements at the end of the second year in Grade 10; or
          • must have met Grade 10 promotion requirements, but was unsuccessful in meeting the Grade 11 promotion requirements after a period of two years; or
          • must have been unsuccessful in meeting Grade 10 promotion requirements at the end of the first year, was progressed to Grade 11 the following year but was unable in meeting the Grade 11 promotion requirements at the end of the first year in Grade 11; and
        • pass four of the seven subjects, offered for the National Senior Certificate, comprising-
          • the Language of Learning and Teaching (LoLT) and
          • three other approved subjects, including Life Orientation, selected from Groups A and/or B in Annexure B as contemplated in Regulation 4B(a) and (b);
        • attended school on a regular basis. Absenteeism in excess of 20 days, without a valid reason, will disqualify the learner from being progressed. If the learner has been absent for more than 20 days, without a valid reason, this constitutes irregular attendance; and
        • complied with the prescribed School-Based Assessment (SBA) requirements for all subjects offered, including the failed subjects for that academic year as contemplated in Regulations 7 and 8;
      • To establish whether a learner should be retained in the Further Education and Training Phase or progressed to the next grade, the following procedure must be followed-
        • the school must convene a special meeting of relevant subject staff to evaluate each learner holistically that has not met the promotion requirements more than once in Grade 10 or 11;
        • if there is consensus among all subject teachers during the promotion/progression meeting that the learner should be retained in the current grade, then a meeting must be held with the parent/guardian so that the advice is carefully and clearly explained by the school and understood by the parent/guardian before the learner’s school report is handed to them;
        • the decision reached at the meeting contemplated in sub-regulation (ii) must be reflected on the learner’s report card. If the learner is retained, this must be confirmed in writing by the parent; and
      • A parent/guardian has a right to appeal the final decision made by the school to progress or retain a learner and must follow the following process-.
        • to appeal a progression or retention decision, the parent/guardian must submit a written request, not later than three (3) days after the official opening of schools, to the school principal specifying the reasons why the progression or retention decision is being contested;
        • within fourteen (14) working days of receiving a request to appeal, the Head of Department or his/her designee shall make a final determination in this regard; and
        • the onus shall be on the parent as the appealing party to show why the progression or retention decision should be overruled.
      • Districts and schools must have clearly articulated intervention strategies that include an early identification of low achievers or at-risk learners so that the school, district and province can develop and implement additional learning opportunities.
      • The Provincial Education Department must monitor the implementation of the Progression Policy across all schools to ensure compliance with it.
      • Progression in Grades 10-12 does not guarantee the final certification of a learner in Grade 12 and such a learner must comply with the certification requirements as contemplated in paragraph 37(1)(a) of the policy document, National policy pertaining to the programme and promotion requirements of the National Curriculum Statement Grades R – 12 to enable him or her to obtain a National Senior Certificate. Progressed learners will, however, be allowed multiple examination option, which implies that the learner writes a limited number of subjects in the first sitting of the examination as set out in Regulation 41A of the Regulation document, Regulations pertaining to the Conduct, Administration and Management of the National Senior Certificate examination, published as Government Regulation Notice No. R872 in Government Regulation Gazette No. 31337 of 29 August 2008 and be allowed to write the remaining subjects in a subsequent examination.
    • Progressed Learners and MOE
      • Learners who have been progressed to Grade 12 should be allowed to follow the multiple examination option, which implies that the learner writes a limited number of subjects in the first sitting of the National Senior Certificate examination and will be allowed to write the remaining subjects in a subsequent examination in order to allow them to satisfy their outstanding requirements.
      • The performance of progressed learners must be monitored in the Grade 12 year, and based on a consultative process with the parent, the learners will-
        • be advised to write the examination in a limited number of subjects in the first sitting of the end-of-year examination;
        • be allowed to sit for a limited number of subjects in the examination based strictly on the performance of the learners in the said examination and preceding tests in the Grade 12 year;
        • be allowed to write the examination in all six subjects, provided they have demonstrated acceptable achievement levels in all six subjects, and
        • be allowed to write in the June examination the remaining limited number of subjects, subject to the following-
          • only a limited number of subjects will be examined and progressed candidates may only enrol for those subjects indicated on the list of selected subjects for examination; and
          • should a learner be unsuccessful in meeting the outstanding requirements in the June examination, he or she will be regarded as a part-time repeater candidate as contemplated in sub-regulation (3).
  5. Admission to Post School Education and Training
    TVET-colleges
    A learner who has completed Gr 9 and has complied with the requirements for promotion to Gr 10, qualifies for admission to courses offered by TVET colleges.
  6. Admission to Higher Education
    Categories of NSC subjects in terms of which the admission requirements are stated

    • Recognised 20-credit subjects
      All the subjects in the National Curriculum Statement for Gr 10 – 12 are recognised 20-credit subjects, except for Life Orientation which is a 10-credit subject.
    • Designated subjects
      The designated subject list has been revoked. See Circular S8 of 2018 [S8/2018]
    • Minimum requirements for admission
      • Minimum requirements for certificate studies at universities
        • A National Senior Certificate (NSC) as certified by UMALUSI
        • Minimum 30% in the language of learning and teaching of the higher education institution
    • Requirements for diploma studies at universities
      • An NSC as certified by UMALUSI
      • Minimum 30% in the language of learning and teaching of the higher education institution
      • 40-49% (Level 3) or higher in four recognised NSC 20-credit subjects
    • Requirements for degree studies at universities
      • A NSC as certified by UMALUSI
      • Minimum 30% in the language of learning and teaching of the higher education institution
      • 50-59% (Level 4) or higher in four subjects
    • Additional requirements
      • Additional subject requirements
        A university or faculty of a university may expect applicants to comply with additional requirements concerning subjects or subject combinations.
      • Admission Points Score (APS)
        Universities calculate the Admission Points Score (APS) by using the applicant’s achievement in six recognised 20-credit subjects in terms of the 7-level assessment scale. The highest possible APS is therefore 42.
      • National benchmark tests
        • These tests are used by universities for the following purposes:
        • To assess the literacy and mathematics proficiency of applicants for admission;
        • To assess the relationship between university entry level requirements and Grade 12 outcomes; and
        • To obtain additional information for the placement of students in appropriate programmes.