Schools find NSC exam bar codes ‘disastrous’

2008-10-30 00:00

SCHOOLS have described the new bar code system now required for the national matric examinations as clumsy and a recipe for disaster.

Matric writers are required to carry their personal bar codes to each examination and to be cut and paste them on to scripts or answer books.

Officials at schools canvassed on the topic told The Witness the bar codes are on the pupils’ admission letters.

As successive bar codes are cut out for each paper the pupil writes, his or her admission letter is slowly destroyed. The letter carries the rules and regulations on the back.

A principal told The Witness yesterday it appears that officials who came up with these rules have forgotten how the implementation process works.

“It is a laborious and cumbersome process to manage. There is a question of safekeeping. Can we trust the students to do that?

“It presents a whole lot of logistical problems and yet there has been no consultation made with invigilators who need to implement this.”

A teacher said she is worried that not all pupils will bring scissors and glue, opr can even afford them.

“They are not allowed to pass things around inside the exam hall, so they can’t share.”

Another principal said his school has state-of-the-art equipment and expert knowledge of computer programmes, yet the the administrative additions required for National Senior Certificate exams — the first under the outcomes-based curriculum — are overwhelming.

It is not clear whether scripts without bar codes will be marked or not.

The Witness tried in vain to contact the national department for comment.

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