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Matric as a metric

- By Wits University

The annual matric results encompass a wide set of social and economic aspirations. Matric acts as the symbolic indicator of the health of the schooling system and acts as the entry point for positions in the workforce and in higher education.

Yet, what is it that the matric qualification measures? Are we reducing education purely to that which can be standardised and measured in instrumental fashion?

How do other countries deal with the need for standardised testing? What alternative systems could be used?  How can we design a system of evaluating education that better supports social justice?

The Wits Institute and Economic Research, the Department of Politics and the History Workshop at Wits held a public debate to deliberate on these matters as part of the Public Positions on Social Justice series.

In this session Stephanie Allais from Wits School of Education presented a short paper titled How does matric measure the health of our education system?  Discussants: Professor Ruksana Osman, Dean of the Wits Faculty of Humanities and Nick Taylor, Head of the National Education Evaluation and Development Unit offered responses to the paper.

  Listen toAllais, Osman and Taylor.

Media coverage:

Business Day – Ditch narrow focus on matric say experts

The Conversation - SA should scrap simple 'pass' or 'fail'for school leavers

Mail and Guardian - Too much book learning, too little work for matriculants

The Daily Maverick and eNCA- Matric, too pass or not

Sunday Times - Sunday TimesStephanie Allais.pdf

  Radio interviews

Radio 2000

Radio Islam

Voice of the Cape

 Power FM

For more details on the Public Positions on Social Justice series visit