Split fails the learners

2016-02-18 06:00

Fezeka High School learners and their parents feel that they were dealt a mean hand by the staff, and the latter are fuming that the former are now out of the school system.

It has energed from parents that matric learners at the school were advised to split their subjects in the final exams of 2015, so that the remaining subjects would be written this year. Called the three-three split, this was sold to parents as a way to ease the burden of sitting for many subjects, and thus have a favourable pass rate for the school.

For the more than 20 matrics at the school, this was a novel approach and everyone was happy with the arrangement; until Wednesday last week, that is.

Candy Mbita, is one of the former learners. She said that they were told at a meeting at the school last year that they were going to write one of the remaining three subjects last Wednesday, but that did not happen when they arrived for their exams.

“That agreement was taken last year. We were surprised to learn that we were not on the list of learners who were due to write. I feel disappointed, because I was planning to register for a nursing course at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, but all will not happen now. It is sad for me. They allowed us to attend classes knowing that we were not going to write the exams,” She said.

Another learner said she was also left angry after she was told she was not registered to write on the day.

“They fooled us. They claimed that they were making things easier for us, but we are now stuck,” she said. Minki Mbita, Candy’s mother, said they agreed with the advice because it sounded good, but has back-fired. 

“My child cannot apply for a scholarship now, because she has not written all her subjects. The plan turned out to be a waste of time for them, because they have to wait for another year to be able to go to universities,” she said.

Zoliswa Ngqukuvana, the principal, said the Western Cape Education Department (WECD) came up with the plan to assist learners who were seen to be at risk of failing matric which was to split the subjects to make it easier for them to pass.

She said the reason the learners did not write with those who were writing last week is that they do not fall under the category of supplementary examination, but modular learners.
Those who wrote last week are supplementary students.
She said modular learners were scheduled to write in June and that there was a communication breakdown from the side of WCED which resulted in the confusion.
Ngqukuvana said it was the responsibility of the department to communicate with the learners as they were no longer under the school.

“We were under the impression that the department was communicating with them. We were surprised to see them arriving here for examination on Wednesday. They will write in June for National Senior Certificate (NSC). The fault is not on our side, but on the side of the department. They are out of our system. I managed to find all the information for them after I learnt that there was confusion,” Ngqukuvana said.

City Vision sent a series of questions to the WCED regarding the matter, but had not received any reply at the time of going to print.
Meanwhile, the future of the learners remains unclear.

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