Mathematics and Mathematical Literacy may not be
offered together as part of the 7-subject package for the NSC. However a
learner may offer an 8th subject in the NSC and there is no indication that the
8th subject may not be either Mathematics or Mathematical Literacy.
IEB has encouraged schools to try and keep learners offering Mathematics for as
long as possible. However many decide at the end of Grade 11 to drop
Mathematics and take up Mathematical Literacy instead. We believe that the most
common reasons why learners replace Mathematics with Mathematical Literacy are:
- fear of failing Mathematics and possibly, in the process, failing the NSC.
- fear of getting less than 50% in Mathematics and hence not qualifying for a BD pass.
- fear of not achieving a sufficiently high admission points score (APS) to enter university or their choice of study.
The IEB has encouraged schools to keep
borderline learners offering Mathematics particularly when they have even the
smallest chance of passing it. However they should in addition encourage these
learners to offer Mathematical Literacy as an 8th subject.
Over the past 4 years, 2 927 candidates have followed this
option (approximately 730 per year) and only 5 candidates over the full 4-year
period have failed both Mathematics and Mathematical Literacy, while on average
50% per year passed Mathematics with 40% and higher. The main purpose of
this process is to retain learners offering Mathematics who may have changed to
Mathematical Literacy at the start of their Grade 12 year. Only one of
the subjects will appear on the certificate and should the learner pass
Mathematics, that is normally the subject selected for certification. Should
the learner also pass Mathematical Literacy, s/he will receive a subject
From Grade 12 in 2019, this option is not available to
learners offering Physical Sciences because Mathematics is a compulsory subject