Umalusi establishes panel of experts to investigate error in ‘impossible’ Maths Paper 2 question | News24


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

  • Umalusi has launched an investigation into the unsolvable Maths Paper 2 question.
  • Three independent experts will look into how the error went unnoticed by examiners and moderators until the paper was sent for print and distributed to schools for writing. 
  • The Department of Basic Education received complaints from pupils nationally, who flagged the error in question 5.1 of the paper. 

A three-member independent panel will probe the “impossible” Maths Paper 2 question flagged by matric pupils after their examination on 7 November. 

Quality assurer Umalusi said on Tuesday the investigators would also look into how the error went unnoticed by examiners and moderators who assessed the matric exam papers before they were sent to print for distribution.

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

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

Hansraj is a Mathematics and Applied Mathematics professor in the Astrophysics Research Centre of the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s School of Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer Science.

Heideman is a contract lecturer in the Mathematics Department at the University of Cape Town and an 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 16 January 2023 during the media briefing on the approval of the release of the 2022 examination results of the different assessment bodies.

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Umalusi CEO Dr Mafu Rakometsi said the error would not delay the release of matric results which would be approved on 16 January, and pupils would not be disadvantaged by the flagged error.

News24 reported that the question was worth seven marks, and, because of the error, pupils would be marked out of 93 instead of 100. 

The examiners would assess their overall performance, and where there is a clear indication the question affected their exam, the department will ask the quality assurance council, Umalusi, for an upward adjustment of 1 or 2%.

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