Put off final exams, says Cosas

2010-09-14 00:00

THE Congress of South African Students (Cosas) has joined the South African Democratic Teachers’ Union in wanting the trial examination scrapped, citing a lack of preparedness.

It also wants the final exams, scheduled to start on October 25, to be postponed and for all pupils to go into the exams with at least 25% free marks to negate the effects of the strike.

If these demands are not met, Cosas leaders promise, there will be fireworks and further disruptions of the final exams.

The national spokesperson for Basic Education, Granville Whittle, said schools were largely unhindered on the first day of departmentally set trial exams, despite reports of disruptions caused by the Cosas in some provinces.

Whittle dismissed claims that trials have been cancelled in Soweto.

Cosas leaders in KwaZulu-Natal also claimed to have stopped certain schools from writing in Port Shepstone and Claremont, which claims but The Witness could not confirm the claim with the KZN Education Department or police in the province.

Whittle said that on all but one province, Northern Cape, which completely did away with the trials, started exams yesterday.

The Western Cape operates school-based examinations and a majority of schools have already completed their trials.

However, some schools were affected by the strike and only started their examinations yesterday.

Despite announcing plans to scrap their preliminary exams last week, the Eastern Cape Education Department also proceeded with the exams after having them reinstated again this week.

Speaking to The Witness last night, Cosas national secretary-general Sbonelo Shezi said all of its members received a directive to abandon the trial exams.

“It has nothing to do with disruption because every student has a right to write if they wish. What we are saying is that students who feel they are not ready because they have not been adequately prepared must not feel pressured to write.

“We are concerned that the department of Basic Education and its provinces are not taking us seriously.

If they don’t meet us halfway and meet our demands, we will shut down the final examinations.”

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