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%.

  • TDP - 2011-09-26 16:40

    Why don't we just make everything for free in South Africa?

      Servaas - 2011-09-26 16:43

      Whats the bet they going to blame apartheid?

      cliffarc - 2011-09-26 17:15

      - Look no further than the state of a country's education , for a preview of the future. These are the students that represent future BBBee recipients and thereby the fortunes of this nation going forwards. And would this exemption of fees apply to all race groups ?

      Werner - 2011-09-26 18:20

      This is SUCH a backward way of thinking. If re-marking is free, it just means all the comrades-to-be are going to demand re-marking and re-marking and re-marking until they eventually pass. Study harder and pass first time, nutjobs. TIA.

      WallFly - 2011-09-26 18:45

      cliffarc - No-where in this article do they mention race, why should you? Seeing as the current rate applies to all races, the proposed rate (free) would also be for all. Werner - Why on EARTH is it backward to want a crucial function of the education department to be free? I've always found it disgusting that they charge so much for re-marks, because it's the education department's people who mark the exams' fault that the re-marks are necessary. And no, you can only apply for a re-mark once.

  • Grayman - 2011-09-26 16:42

    Here's an idea ... Why not scrap marking of matric papers altogether?

      burtfred - 2011-09-26 17:42

      Agreed. No point passing and SA matric - it's pretty worthless in the grand scheme of things anyway.

  • ANC Comrade - 2011-09-26 16:43

    Remarking in the past meant that you will pass automatically. If the remove the (bribe) fee these users will just waste the markers time and fail anyway.

      Werner - 2011-09-26 18:26

      Since when did a re-mark mean an automatic pass? That wasn't the way I remembered it. Then again, I never needed a re-mark because I studied hard enough.

  • beicime - 2011-09-26 16:44

    Brilliant idea! But, what if everybody that fail will ask for a r-emark? Does the department has enough "markers" to do the job? Re-marking must be for those that really believe to have done enough and the fee makes sure of that.

  • Johann - 2011-09-26 16:45

    And free condoms!

      cliffarc - 2011-09-26 17:37

      - and houses, water and lights,healthcare, social grants - free mpuza could be next.

  • Flee - 2011-09-26 16:48

    Great Scrap the fees, give them everything for free... Actually even better scrap matric... If they can spell their name, and conjoin one English sentence ... well then put them in Government, if not well just make them all brain surgeons, give them free houses, and allow them to slaughter one another without punishment... GREAT GO AHEAD AND F*CK UP SA even more you stupid idiots....

  • Alan - 2011-09-26 16:50

    Great Idea. In other words, the teachers re-mark free of charge? Now that's what I call setting a wonderful patriotic example.

  • Mike or Mpho - 2011-09-26 16:51

    why do i have a feeling that they haven't thought this one through properly

      Alan - 2011-09-26 16:56

      Easy one to answer.......Because they seldom do.

      Sihle KaMazibuko Mkhize - 2011-09-26 17:13

      Why are you saying that? They are making some really good points

  • Vincent - 2011-09-26 17:08

    I honestly believe that teachers are fair and if your answers are correct they will mark it correct. Remarking of exams are normally for people who fail by the skin of their teeth and hope that the next marker will give them a few extra points. Those who really know their work and pass with flying colours seldom request for a remark.

  • Nomdakazana - 2011-09-26 17:15

    When will we witness a situation where both SADTU and Education departments taking responsibility for the low pass rates. SADTU is supposed to teach and assist the learners to pass first time they write instead of attacking the Department for charging fees. SADTU must learn that the fees are meant to encourage the learners to put the necessary efforts in order to ensure that they pass. Imagine when the remarking is free. Who is going to pay for the remarking. How many are going to insist on remarking when they know they only got 15% marks. The mathematics story is not even worth being mentioned by SADTU because they are supposed to have their input. How did they miss or skip that or it was during the strike period, then I would understand.

      philjoubert - 2011-09-27 06:07

      The learners are not the one's paying the fees and do you think that learners right their exams with a remark in mind? I seriously doubt it's a motivating factor and is just insult to injury when you've failed. SADTU is looking after workers rights - not the children's. They are a teachers union... let's get that straight. That in itself is a problem.

  • Sihle KaMazibuko Mkhize - 2011-09-26 17:18

    I'm quite impressed that for once SADTU is talking sense. All these insensitive white people in here simply don't understand that a family can simply not afford R200. They are not saying drop the standards but are actually pushing for more leaners to do proper maths, this is good coz that maths literacy is just useless. Let's learn to be objective and read thoroughly and not criticize unnecessarily

      So What If.. - 2011-09-26 18:32

      Maybe they should learn and pas the first time, instead of expecting those that do the marking to go hunting for answers where they could give the 'learners' more marks!

  • muk - 2011-09-26 17:22

    SADTU has a point. A lot of learners don't have access to monies. Pity we live in a society where learners from disadvantaged homes have no recourse. Disavantaged adults don't have recourse to appealing sentances handed down in courts. Why not say that if a learner scores 60% and above in the class tests; only then do they have recourse to remark.

      So What If.. - 2011-09-26 18:33

      Simply because you cannot trust the marks obtained in class tests...

      Flee - 2011-09-27 08:37

      Well then they should knuckle down and pass the first time around and stop wasting their parents money......

  • semaj - 2011-09-26 17:24

    Be realistic, a re-mark will probably result in a slightly higher mark for the unfortunate pupil. Not that it will make much difference in terms of academic performance. Until the masses are measured not in terms of their peer performances, i.e. "we will dumb down the pass requirements so everybody will be promoted" but in fact the best performers WILL stand out amongst the chaff that can hardly make the grade. Mediocrity is not what South Africa deserves. The country depends upon a well-educated new middle class.

      Ian - 2011-09-27 06:59

      point taken, except they trying extremely hard to get rid of the middle and upper class, they do not want the minority here, once we are gone its curtains, but they are too thick to see it

  • Dave - 2011-09-26 17:25

    maybe the students should spend less time toy toying and more time studying

      semaj - 2011-09-26 17:28

      That too Dave, and no incendiary devices allowed near schools

      philjoubert - 2011-09-27 06:09

      Wow Dave - you really seem to have a sense of what it's like to learn under crappy conditions. I taught at some of these schools and I'd feel pretty hard done-by. Enjoy your morning coffee and running water.

  • Anonymous Thinker - 2011-09-26 17:53

    This is going to open a big door. How many times will they be allowed to ask for a remark? Or are they going to let pupils ask as many times as they want until they get given a pass mark? Next there'll be a demand for a lower pass percentage.

      BakkieB - 2011-09-26 19:57

      That is already happening. What a shame that the matric my son is wrting now is worth shyt compared to when his dad did it. 2012 vs 1980

      philjoubert - 2011-09-27 06:10

      The current matric level is actually more difficult in maths and science. I'm a teacher - I know this. Sorry it doesn't give you a chance to blame everything on the government though.

  • vix - 2011-09-26 21:11


  • Luv2flood - 2011-09-26 21:33

    How about you go and study, then there is no need to be totally dependant on remark.

  • Mark Haupt - 2011-09-26 21:57

    Well, given the numbers quoted there'll be work for (some of) us in this country forever, as long as we can count to 10. What are these kids all studying, tourism and hawking?

  • philjoubert - 2011-09-27 06:05

    The large majority of people in here do not work in education. Take their racist bile with a pinch of salt. They'll probably highjack this thread to winge about politics. On a constructive note (don't see many of those) - this may actually be an idea. They are investigating why less than 10% of matriculants leave with a maths pass. Remarking may not be the issue - the current curriculum may be. I work in education I am a teacher - the syllabus and teacher training are the majority of the problem. Teachers of maths and science are underpaid for a difficult job. People with good results in both of those subjects find more lucrative jobs in other sectors. Where is the teacher bursary scheme offered to kids with a B in both subjects? I'd like to see that happen. The number of well qualified and motivated teachers is a MASSIVE problem. I know - I am one of few.

  • purpleflower - 2011-09-27 06:08

    It is time for all teachers to be in their classes TEACHING. Making the pass process easier does not prepare learners for further study or even a job in SA. Wake up people! You have to LEARN to know something that you can use to earn money. It doesn't come for free!

  • Ian - 2011-09-27 06:56

    just make the pass rate in those schools 0% and be done with it, you people dont need an education to be an anc cadre, stealing is in your nature

  • SdP - 2011-09-27 08:00

    Maths OR Maths Literacy is compulsorary subjects for ALL Grade 10 - 12 learners. You either have Maths or Maths Lit. To say that only 17000 learners have Maths of which 13000 have Maths Lit shows how ignorant SADTU is about education and the learners they are supposed to serve. On that note: just compare SADTU's webpage with SAOU's webpage and you will see that SADTU's focus is indeed labour related where as SAOU focus on the empowerment of teachers to teach.

  • shaun botsis - 2011-09-27 08:04

    wow, the education system in SA has FAILED the country dismally.That free remarking idea wont work.

  • SdP - 2011-09-27 08:05

    Remarking's fees are currently paid back if there is a symbol change after remarking.

  • Gary - 2011-09-27 08:15

    So if it's for free, who's going to pay the markers who have to come in to remark these fees, cause Government sure as hell don't have the money to do it.

  • Richard - 2011-09-28 18:37

    The problem is not with the cost it's with the pass mark. 33.3% is a piece of cake that u can achieve by just showing up. Put the pass mark up to 40% and then 45%. No wonder there is such a high drop out rate at university where 50% is the minimum requirement for most degrees.

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