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No, South African grades 8 to 10 students don’t have to rewrite maths exam 

A December 2020 Facebook post claims that all students in grades eight to ten in South Africa have to rewrite the maths exam. 

The rewrite will take place on 15 December at 14:00, it says. 

The post was shared to Facebook by a page called “Angie Motsekga”. 

Angie Motshekga is South Africa’s minister of basic education. Although the Facebook page uses a photo of Motshekga as its profile picture, it has no affiliation with the minister and includes no links to the department of basic education

It is also unclear when the page was created, but the post making claims about the maths exam is the oldest on the page, published 5 December. 

There are many Facebook pages that have been created in Motshekga’s name. None have been verified with a blue tick, as is often the case with the official Facebook pages of public figures. 

So the Facebook page is suspect, but is there any truth to the claim that grades eight to ten will have to “rewrite mathematics”? 

Matrics to rewrite maths and science exams

The national school-leaving exams for maths, physical science and life sciences were leaked days apart in late November 2020. 

In South Africa, grade 12 or the last year of secondary school is commonly called matric and the students matriculants. The national final exams at the end of the year are known as matric exams. 

The maths paper was leaked in eight of South Africa’s nine provinces just hours before the exam was written. So far, one person has been arrested in connection with the leaked maths paper.

Following the leaks, the department of basic education made the decision to have all matriculants rewrite the maths and physical science exams.

“[The] Mathematics Paper will be written on Tuesday 15 December 2020 at 14:00, and Physical Sciences Paper 2 will be written on Thursday 17 December 2020 at 09:00,” Motshekga said.

The dates have also been posted to the department’s verified Twitter account. 

But the rewrite applies only to matriculants. Students in grades eight to ten do not write standardised national exams – exams are set by individual schools. Africa Check could find no evidence to suggest that any grades eight to ten students have to rewrite their maths exams. The post is false.

Read our guide to verifying government Facebook pages to avoid being duped in the future. – Africa Check


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