No matric results in newspapers in future?

2008-01-08 00:00

THE national Education Department is seriously considering keeping the media from publishing matric results in newspapers and electronic media, making matriculants collect results from their schools.

This was first alluded to by Education Minister Naledi Pandor when she released this year’s results.

It has since been confirmed by her national spokesman, Lunga Ngqengelele, who said the minister feels strongly on the matter.

He said the decision is not only influenced by the pressure the wait puts on students, which sometimes leads to suicide, but also the concern that pupils gathering at night, in hopes of getting newspapers early, often drink and indulge in anti-social behaviour.

“Why can’t matriculants get results like they have been doing from grade R? … It needs to be a personal thing, like getting HIV/Aids results,” said Ngqengelele.

This, he said, would create a controlled environment for pupils, reduce the frenzy, and remove the added burden of having the rest of the country knowing whether you have passed or not.

The department also said newspapers do not always publish the right information, while others try to make a profit from the results.

“You find a situation of inflated prices, some copies going for R10 a copy and that’s the hard fact. And another fact is, mistakes do creep in, in newspapers. They will leave out a child’s name, the child commits suicide, only to find out that they passed.”

SA Democratic Teachers’ Union KZN spokesman, Sipho Nkosi, did not want to comment, saying it was a national issue.

National spokesman Thulas Nxesi has been quoted in other publications as saying that there is an unnecessary hype about matric results, and while the union is still to discuss the matter, he said they don’t see anything wrong with it.

However, the secretary of the Congress of SA Students, Isaac Luthuli, did not share the same view.

“There is no mistake in the publishing of results. It is good and correct, but there are policies that need to be followed to ensure that the results are 101% correct,” said Luthuli.

He said the blame is with the department, which fails to manage the examination department, and shifts the blame on the media.

Ngqengelele said the decision is not yet official, but they are hoping it will be put into effect from this year.

sphumem@witness.co.za

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