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Umalusi establishes a panel of experts to investigate the error in the ‘impossible’ question of the math exam 2


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Quality watchdog Umalusi is investigating the ‘impossible’ question in Maths Paper 2.

  • Umalusi has launched an investigation into the unsolved question in Maths Paper 2.
  • Three independent experts will discuss how examiners and moderators did not notice the error until the document was sent out for printing and distributed to schools for writing.
  • The Department of Basic Education received complaints from students nationwide, who pointed out the error in question 5.1 of the work.

An independent three-member panel will investigate the “impossible” Maths Paper 2 question flagged by enrolled students after their exam on November 7.

Quality assurance Umalusi said on Tuesday that researchers would also investigate how the error went undetected by examiners and moderators who evaluated the matrix exams before they were sent to print for distribution.

The panelists are Penelope Vinjevold, Professor Sudan Hansraj and Professor Nic Heideman.

Vinjevold is a retired teacher with over 16 years of experience. She was also the chief director, deputy director general, and head of the provincial education department.

Hansraj is Professor of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics at the Astrophysics Research Center in the Faculty of Mathematics, Statistics and Informatics at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

Heideman is a Contract Professor in the Department of Mathematics at the University of Cape Town and Emeritus Associate Professor of Mathematics at Rhodes University.

The panel is mandated to fully investigate the matter and submit its final report to Umalusi. The report will be shared publicly on January 16, 2023 during the press conference on the approval of the publication of the results of the 2022 examination of the different evaluation bodies.

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Umalusi’s chief executive, Dr. Mafu Rakometsi, said the error would not delay the publication of the matrix results due to be approved on January 16 and that students would not be harmed by the noted error.

News24 reported that the question was worth seven points, and due to the error, students would receive a score of 93 instead of 100.

The examiners would assess their overall performance and where there is a clear indication that the question affected their examination, the department will apply to the quality control board, Umalusi, for an upward adjustment of 1-2%.


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