Matric exam rewrites cancelled, Cosas elated

Matric exam rewrites cancelled, Cosas elated

The Department of Basic Education (DEB) has cancelled the planned rewrite of leaked Mathematics Paper 2 and Physical Science Paper 2.

The department announced the move on Saturday, following a meeting with the Council of Education Ministers (CEM).

The council is made up of education MECs.

Its resolve follows a high court judgment on Friday, which set government’s decision for matrics to write the leaked papers on December 15 and 17, respectively.

“CEM agreed that the Class of 2020 has been confronted by many challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, and it would therefore be unfair to further subject the Class of 2020, their teachers and parents to further uncertainties and exacerbate the anxieties they currently face.”

Congress Of South African Students (Cosas) is elated over the developments.

Reacting to the Friday court ruling, the organisation’s National Spokesperson, Douglas Ngobeni, said: “We are happy that the court made a sober ruling, a sober decision that our learners can not be subjected to cleaning up after the mess of  the Department of Basic Education.”

The student organisation was planning a boycott of the exams.

It had cited concerns from learners as some its reasons for the decision.

Students in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng have been among those who expressed worry over having to prepare for the exams.

They had rejected the DBE’s decision for a rewrite as unfair.

Teachers’ union, Naptosa, has also welcomed the cancellation of the exams – saying DBE should not have made a decision on incomplete information.

A probe into the matter had not been able to establish how many learners had accessed the leaked papers.

The Department of Basic Education has, however, maintained that its decision was aimed at protecting the credibility, fairness and integrity of the 2020 matric exams.

It says quality assurance agency, Umalusi, will now have to give a final verdict on that matter.

The department, nonetheless, plans to challenge some aspects of the Friday court ruling.

Educators’ union urges matrics to rewrite leaked papers

Educators’ union urges matrics to rewrite leaked papers

The Professional Educators Union (Peu) has welcomed the Department of Basic Education’s decision for leaked exams to be rewritten.

This comes amid dissent over the decision announced by Basic Education Minister, Angie Motshekga, on Friday. She said matriculants will re-write maths paper 2 and physical science paper 2 on 15 and 17 December, respectively.

The task team set up to probe the matter has said it couldn’t establish how many schools and learners had access to the two leaked papers prior the exam.

Peu Spokesperson, Klass Mohlatlole, says it is those findings that made the organisation throw its weight behind the DBE’s stance.

Mohlatlole adds that this should be done to protect the quality of education and matric results.

The union is urging matriculants to ignore calls for a rewrite boycott.

The call comes amid revolt from learner organisation Cosas and teachers union Sadtu. Both organisations have approached the courts in a bid to have the decision overturned.
Cosas National Spokesperson Douglas Ngobeni filed an urgent interdict in the High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday, while Sadtu went to court on Monday.

“Part of the documents which were submitted to the court of law are the affidavits written by learners expressing their outrage regarding the exam rewrite”, Ngobeni says.

Ngobeni adds that their rejection of the exam rewrite was derived from concerns from learners.

Learners from Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal are among those who have expressed concern over the rewrite. 

Lobby group, AfriForum, also plans to take DBE to court over the matter.

However, the Basic Education Ministry remains defiant – saying it will defend the decision in court.- Tshepo Maeko works for Turf Radio