Rape question cut

2013-11-29 00:00

MATRIC dramatic arts pupils who had to answer the “baby rape” quest­ion in their final examination on Monday were given a reprieve by the Department of Basic Education.

Pupils who did not answer that sect­ion or answered incorrectly will have their papers marked excluding the points allocated.

“No pupil will be disadvantaged because of that question. Basically, if they have not answered or answered poorly, that section will be totally disregarded. They will not be losing out.

As an example, if the paper was out of 115 marks, their paper would now be marked out of 100 with total disregard for the 15 marks that section carr­ied,” said department spokesperson Panyaza Lesufi.

Lesufi said the department’s decision followed the outcry over a quest­ion in the paper that asked pupils to describe the rape of a baby using a broomstick and a loaf of bread, based on an excerpt from the play Tshepang.

Tshepang author Lara Foot Newton also dismissed the paper, saying it was totally inappropriate and appalling.

Numerous children’s rights activists were outraged by the question, criticising the Education Department.

Children in Distress director Rekha Nathoo clarified their organisation’s stance on the issue, saying while children needed to be educated on social injustices in school, it did not condone the manner in which the awareness was created.

“It is neither the time nor the place for children to be exposed to something of this nature.

Had this been done in a more ethical manner, perhaps students would have been better able to cope with this situation and also been better prepared to deal with the repercussions of an examination of this nature,” said Nathoo.

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