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 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.