Schools padlocked nine days before trial exams

2010-08-25 00:00

WITH nine days to go before the departmentally set trial examinations are scheduled to start in the province, it is still not clear if the KwaZulu-Natal Education Department plans to delay the examinations. What is clear is that local principals are worried about the preparedness of their pupils.

Schools with a pass rate lower than 60% must write the provincially set examination, while schools with a good matric pass rate may set their own trials.

A number of former Model C schools were upbeat about the readiness of their pupils and see no need to postpone the exams.

However, the local principals who could be reached for comment in the poorly performing schools were despondent about the status of their pupils.

According to one principal, even though some teachers have risked their lives to be in school during the strike, only the bright pupils showed up.

All but one of the schools in the townships visited by The Witness yesterday were padlocked.

Said another principal, “I’m very concerned that this strike and the long holidays will hit us badly. We have not even finished the syllabus and we have been forced to close, because while the department promises to send police to schools, the talk is ‘will they go home with you?’

“The teachers are genuinely terrified.”

Department spokesperson Mbali Thusi said schools will be informed promptly if there are changes to the start of the exams.

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