1. The purpose of this circular is to clarify the application of the special condonation dispensation for learners in Grades 4-9 in 2020.
  2. Mark adjustments and condonations are used as special dispensations to offset potential high retention of learners in an academic year. In 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic disruptions and related learning losses experienced in Grades 4-9, the application of these special dispensations are continued.
  3. In 2020, the special dispensation for mark adjustments condonations builds on the 2019 requirements with the following amendments:


(a) Mark adjustments and condonations are applicable in Grades 4-9. This is an extension of Grades 7-9 that was applicable in 2019.

(b) A mark adjustment of 5% is allowed in a maximum of three subjects. This means that a mark adjustment of 5% can be applied in 3 different subjects. The mark adjustment of 2% in 2019 is increased to 5% in 2020 to compensate for possible learning losses that have occurred.

(c) Thereafter, the condonation in Mathematics must be applied. Where a learner has met all the requirements in respect of promotion from one grade to the next grade, except has not attained a level 3 (40%) in Mathematics and therefore has to be retained, such a learner must be condoned in Mathematics. This implies that the Mathematics mark is condoned and the learner must be promoted to the next grade, if all other pass requirements are met.

(d) Grade 9 learners who obtain a condonation in Mathematics with mark of below 30%, (after the condonation has been approved) have the option of continuing with Mathematics in Grade 10. They may also opt to take Mathematical Literacy. As in 2019, there is no restriction of only choosing Mathematical Literacy as a result of the Mathematics condonation.

  1. On the mark schedule, the original mark attained by the learner in Mathematics must be indicated and the letter “C” must be inserted next to the mark to indicate that this mark has been condoned. The same would apply in the way the mark is reflected on the learner’s report. On the learner’s report, the following statement must appear:

“Mathematics mark has been condoned and the learner is promoted to the next grade.”

  1. This implies that Mathematics remains a compulsory subject taken by all learners but learners may be condoned in Mathematics.
  2. The above condonation dispensation does not, in any way, change the other subject progression requirements for the Intermediate and Senior Phase, as stipulated in Paragraph 21 of the National policy pertaining to the programme and promotion requirements of the National Curriculum Statement Grades R–12, published as Government Notices No. 1115 and 1116 in Government Gazette No. 36042 of 28 December 2012.
  3. Please note that the condonation dispensation and mark adjustments is applicable in 2020 for Grades 4-9.
  4. The information in this circular must be timeously disseminated to schools, and circuits and districts must ensure that the above condonation dispensation is applied accurately across all schools in 2020.

All enquiries regarding this circular must be directed to Dr M Chetty via telephone on 012 357 3835 or email at [email protected].

Your support in ensuring compliance with the contents of this circular will be greatly appreciated

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