Pupils miss exams as school fails to submit names

2014-12-29 00:00

FIFTY-SIX matriculants at Natal Midlands Development School will face the new year with great uncertainty after the school locked doors just before they could write final exams.

School staff have now admitted they missed the deadline to submit the register of pupils who were to write the matric exams, to the Education Department.

The pupils said they had been writing internal examinations in the independent school located in central Pietermaritzburg during the year, but were met by a locked door when they went to the facility to demand answers.

The NGO school charges R350 per month for tuition plus a once-off payment of R700 for administration fees. Pupils said they were told that their exam timetables were ready, but that was the last time they heard from the school.

“We did not even write trial exams in September and we were not told why. We were told that some pupils did not pay. We are very stressed and angry,” said Mandisa Shelembe.

“I have been working hard the year and that hard work has gone down the drain. I wasted the whole year. I don’t want to go back there I need my money back.”

Another distraught pupil, Sindisiwe Khonde, said: “They told us to bring our ID books but when we got there it was closed. We were then told to came back in January to ‘start afresh’. I don’t want to go back there, I am cancelling. I learnt from my mistake.”

The institution’s spokesperson Mlungisi Mncwabe admitted last Monday that they failed to submit the register of the matriculants to the Education Department on time, resulting in pupils not being eligible to write.

“We only provide tuition here. Pupils were timeously informed they must come back next year and the department is aware of this,” Mncwabe said.

He said pupils won’t pay next year as the programme would be funded by the department.

Departmental spokesperson Muzi Mahlambi said: “I don’t know why they make it our problem.

“We are intervening in the interest of pupils. They should not punish the pupils.”

Mahlambi said there were three opportunities during the year where the institution should have checked the number of pupils they had, confirming their details and subjects.

• khanyisani.dlomo@witness.co.za

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