South Africa: What does ‘black power’ mean? Don’t ask a matriculant



A 400-page diagnostic report on the Matric exams shows that one-word answers to analytical questions and the inability to understand question verbs were among the most basic problems for matriculants in final exams last year.

In the history exam, for instance, the term “black power” stumped the matriculants as many candidates were unable to define the concept in their own words.

A summary of the report, released by the Department of Basic Education, claims an improvement in many of the subjects, but, upon a closer reading of the report, it becomes clear that matrics faced the same problems as in  previous years.

It found that candidates did not understand question verbs such as “justify”,[tooltip id=”4500c2f113202943ff1ae30d00c9d4ac”] [/tooltip]“suggest”,[tooltip id=”4500c2f113202943ff1ae30d00c9d4ac”] [/tooltip]“compare”,[tooltip id=”4500c2f113202943ff1ae30d00c9d4ac”] [/tooltip]“comment” and “explain”. 

Overall, it suggests that matrics pass despite not being able to read well, do basic calculations, or give more than one-word answers to detailed questions.

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