Provinces delay exams

2010-08-25 14:15

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Cape Town - Most provincial education departments have had to postpone the preliminary matric exams because of the public service strike.

While the Gauteng and Northern Cape education departments have postponed the exams until September, the Northern Cape and North West provincial departments hope that they will be able to continue with the examinations on Monday.

Gauteng education department spokesperson Charles Phahlane told News24 that the exams in the province will be postponed for two weeks.

Learners from the Northern Cape “will not be able to sit the exams as planned,” said spokesperson Sydney Stander.

Stander said Grade 12 learners would still be expected to attend school and had appealed to parents to help with their preparations for the preliminary exams.

“We are monitoring the situation closely and hope there will be solution to this problem sooner rather than later.

“We are looking at September 2 to continue (with the exams). From then we hope to run the exams as normal,” he added.

Four papers postponed

Loyiso Pulumani, from the Eastern Cape education department, said schools in the province postponed the four examination papers that were meant to be written this week, however the department "will resume with exams next week”.

“Most of the schools have shut down and in some district offices we are operating on a skeleton staff,” said Pulumani. “It would be a nightmare to sit the exams now.”

Pulumani said that the department was using this week to plan for the situation where they have to continue with the exams while the strike was still ongoing. “We will do comprehensive planning this week to come up with proposals as to what we will do.

“We are talking to parents and civil societies,” he said.

North West education department spokesperson Charles Raseala said that the four missed exam papers will be postponed to later in September. However, schools in this province will continue with the original exam programme from Monday.

“The papers that were missed this week will be postponed to September 8 and 9 and then September 21 and 22,” said Raseala.

When asked if the exams will start on Monday even if the strike action continues, Raseala said: “We are not postponing the exams as a whole sum and will continue next week. We will respond to the environment as it presents itself to us.”

Exams continue in W Cape

The Western Cape department of education decided that the preliminary exams would continue as planned.

“With regards to the upcoming September examinations, the (department) expects these examinations to go ahead as scheduled," said Donald Grant, minister of education in the Western Cape.

“The Western Cape education department is prepared to support schools in preparing for these examinations… Schools should do everything possible to make sure they go ahead as planned.”

Granville Whittle, spokesperson for the department of basic education said there was “no national official position on the postponement of the exams” as the department was still in discussion with the different provinces.

Impact on matics

“The provinces would have to make the decision (to postpone) based on their own circumstance. For example, the Western Cape schools are ready for the exams as they have been less impacted by the strike.”

He could not confirm whether preliminary exams were postponed in Mpumalanga or Limpopo.

Grade 12 learner Eugene Bango, from Mpumalanga, believes that matrics would be negatively affected by the postponements of the preliminary exams.

“It is important that we write the prelims. It tells you exactly what to expect and enables you to test yourself,” he said. “It’s not a good idea to postpone (these exams) because we have to write the real exams in two months."

Mpumalanga and Limpopo education departments could not be reached for comment.

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