Limpopo exams postponed due to lack of funds

2013-06-04 15:59

The department of basic education in Limpopo has postponed midyear exams for pupils between grades 4 and 12 due to lack of funds.

The exams, which were due to begin yesterday, have now been rescheduled for Friday. Chairperson of the Professional Educators Union Maurice Petje said the exams had to be rescheduled because the department had not fulfilled the schools’ norms and standards money meant for the day-to-day running of schools.

Schools use the norms and standards money to pay water, electricity and telephone bills and to buy paper, ink, toners, copiers and printers.

Petje said during exams the department would send every school a single exam paper per grade.

“Schools are then expected to reproduce or make copies of the question papers for all learners.

“But how do we give learners examinations when there is no money to buy paper, ink, toners or fix copiers and printers when they are broken?

“No allocations have been received since the beginning of this year. School coffers are dry. How do you expect us to conduct exams?”

Petje said the union had applauded Pretoria when it placed the department under administration in December 2011.

“We thought the takeover by the administration would bring us relief and help, but it would appear things have gone from bad to worse. And the person who is suffering is the African child. If they couldn’t give us the money in three months, what makes you think they will find money for us to start running exams by Friday?”

He said former model C schools will probably continue offering exams as they don’t depend on government for survival.

Spokesperson for the Limpopo education department Pat Kgomo said the decision to postpone the exams was taken after school governing bodies, principals and unions said they would not be able to conduct exams without their norms and standards.

“When the timetable was set, the department was under the impression that the norms and standards would have been paid come exam time.

“But unfortunately there were hurdles. But we have now rescheduled to Friday because we were assured that the monies would have been paid by Friday.”

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