Umalusi apologises for rape question in matric exam paper

2013-12-30 14:57

The question relating to baby rape in the dramatic arts matric examination was in poor taste, Umalusi council chairperson Sizwe Mabizela has said.

“On behalf of Umalusi, we wish to offer our full and wholesome apology to the nation for allowing such a question to find its way into the examination paper,” he said today in Pretoria.

“We undertake to be more vigilant in the future to ensure that such an incident does not recur. All I can offer is a sincere apology.”

The seven marks allocated to the question were deducted from the total mark for the paper.

“It would be inappropriate to simply say that by removing these seven marks we have dealt with the problem. There may well be emotional trauma that a learner may experience which may affect their performance in the rest of the paper.

“We are not oblivious to the impact that this might have had on the general learners’ experience of the question paper. We hope that the least we did helps to compensate for that,” he said.

Some pupils, teachers and parents were reportedly upset by a question that asked pupils how best to dramatically represent the rape of a baby using a loaf of bread and a broomstick. The exam question was based on Lara Foot Newton’s play, Tshepang, based on real events.

In November, Umalusi said that drama pupils offended by the question were unprepared.

The external quality assurance council that approved the exam said dramatic arts was a subject that aimed to free pupils’ minds of bigotry and prejudice.

“That some learners by implication were offended by the question means the outcomes of the subject were not achieved,” spokesperson Lucky Ditaunyane said in a statement at the time.

“[T]herefore the learners are conceptually conflating and fudging the real issue of not being test-wise and test- prepared in dealing with the levels of difficulty and complexity of the test items.”

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