Scrap matric re-marking fees: Sadtu

2011-09-26 16:32
Durban - Sadtu in KwaZulu-Natal has called on the department of education to stop charging matric pupils for re-marking their papers.

"We want this to be scrapped because we believe it is a stumbling block to many learners," said SA Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) provincial secretary, Mbuyiseni Mathonsi.

Many failed pupils were unable to approach the department of education for re-marking because they could not afford the R232 fee, he said.

The fact that 70% of KwaZulu-Natal schools were no-fee schools showed the province had many pupils who could not afford re-marking fees.

Mathonsi said his union viewed re-marking as crucial because many pupils were sometimes mistakenly given lower marks.

"History has shown that a higher percentage of learners who seek re-marking pass the exams they had failed during normal marking. We therefore encourage learners who will be short by a few marks to seek ... re-marking," he said.

Sadtu also wants the re-marking process to be made simple.

"The forms must be at schools where they wrote [the exams]. This will shorten the bureaucratic process involved and improve access," he said.

The union also called on matric markers to be more concerned with content than language usage.

"We still insist that examination papers must be both in English and a vernacular to assist indigenous language speakers," he said.

The use of vernacular languages would be easy because it was also done for Afrikaans speaking pupils, Mathonsi said.

‘Heinous crime’

Mathonsi expressed concern over the low number of pupils opting for mathematics.

Out of more than 140 000 matriculants in KwaZulu-Natal, only 17 000 were doing mathematics.

"What makes the situation worse is that out of that 17 000, about 13 000 of them are doing mathematical literacy."

Mathonsi claimed the department of education’s team had cajoled pupils to switch from mathematics to mathematics literacy which was easier but of less use.

"We call for the department to investigate, and consider it a heinous crime," he said.

The department could not be immediately reached for comment.

Mathonsi said Sadtu wanted KwaZulu-Natal to achieve an 80% matric pass rate.

More than 344 000 revision booklets had been printed to help KwaZulu-Natal matriculants prepare for their final examinations, he said.

The material had been distributed to all the schools that needed assistance in the province.

Last year, Gauteng was the top province with a 78.6% pass rate, followed by the Western Cape with 76.8%.

Next came the Northern Cape with 72.3%. KwaZulu-Natal and the Free State each had a pass rate of 70.7%.

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