Pupils react to first exams

2010-09-14 00:00

LOCAL matriculants who sat for their first two departmentally set trial examins yesterday held conflicting views about their preparedness for the exams and about whether the exams should be scrapped.

Pupils wrote the mathematics or maths literacy paper 1 in the morning and English in the afternoon.

Contrary to the popular belief that the strike would have a negative impact on grade 12 pupils, most of the pupils in Imbali and Edendale were quite optimistic about writing their first trial exams yesterday.

The Witness visited Mehlokazulu, Sukuma, Georgetown, Nyonithwele and Edendale Technical high schools. The aim was to find out whether the pupils had managed to complete the syllabus and if they were ready to write the exams.

Pupils at Nyonithwele High said they had formed study groups during the strike and they had wonderful time writing their first trial papers.

However, Samkelisiwe Mnguni and Phumeza Tayiya of Mehlokazulu said they were not ready because they are yet to finish the syllabus. They also complained about writing their exam at 2 pm , saying that by that time they could not concentrate properly.

Their complaints were echoed by many pupils in the northern schools some of whom believe their teachers lied about having completed the syllabus.

“I don’t buy it. Are they saying that all the five weeks that we were away were supposed to be used as revision work? I don’t think so. I think they are lying,” declared a Raisethorpe pupil who said he feared he would be victimised by his teachers if he were named.

“I’m worried about every paper. I feel that we were educationally raped. Everything was rushed. It is not fair that after nine weeks of holidays we are expected to write exams,” the pupil said.

While Nhlakanipho Ntombela (17) managed to complete both his maths and English papers, which he felt went okay, he complained of not having had enough revision time.

“The strike did put us at a disadvantage because while we had revision papers and answer papers to work through, if you got stuck, you were basically on your own.”

Said Ntombela, a Woodlands Secondary pupil,“You basically could not get an explanation of why you got something wrong and I think that with a teacher around, we would have had time to correct those mistakes.”

However, his classmate, Mduduzi Shozi (18), said that compared to the revision papers, yesterday’s exams felt “watered down”, possibly to avoid large numbers of failures.

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