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March 8, 2016 -- 455,825 students passed their matric exams in South Africa. However, only 386,722 should have passed. The disparity is due to institutional cheating. 

Reports say exam scores were "adjusted" upwards allowing 70,000 students to pass who should have failed. After the adjustments only 70.7% of students passed their 2015 exams. 

Matriculation (or matric) is a term commonly used to refer to the final year of high school and the qualification received on graduating from high school, although strictly speaking, it refers to the minimum university entrance requirements. The first formal examination was conducted in South Africa under the University of the Cape of Good Hope in 1858. — Wikipedia

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However, after at first approving the "unprecedented" upwards shunting of marks, the Department of Basic Education is now calling for a probe.

A memorandum outlining the agenda for a Council of Education Ministers meeting scheduled for next week, compiled by Rufus Poliah, the chief director for public exams and assessments, and the department's deputy director-general, Paddy Padayachee, reads: "The unprecedented adjustments that were required in 2015 confirms a significant departure from the previous historical performance trends and needs to be thoroughly investigated to ensure that this phenomenon does not recur in 2016."

The council is made up of Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga, provincial education MECs and stakeholders.

According to a presentation made to the department's education lekgotla recently, the raw data showed that the Class of 2015 achieved a pass rate of just 60%. However, after the upwards adjustments, the overall mark presented to the nation in December became 70.7%.

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