Union leaders warn about exams

2010-08-24 07:49

Cape Town - The September exam is hanging in the balance if the countrywide civil servants strike continues indefinitely, several union leaders warned on Monday.

The exam, which is supposed to start next Wednesday, is especially important for matriculants as it forms part of their continuous assessment and accounts for 25% of their final mark.

Many tertiary education institutions and FET colleges require these marks as part of their application processes.

The Eastern Cape department of education has already indicated that this exam will be postponed by a week.

“The Western Cape department of education (WCED) will have to think carefully whether exams can take place next week,” said Ezrah Ramasele, president of the National Professional Teachers Organisation (Naptosa).

“I can’t see how it will be possible. There needs to be a teacher in the classroom to handle the administration and supervise the exam.”

Nkosana Dolopi, deputy secretary general of the South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu), says it is up to government whether there will be teachers in classrooms to administer the exams.

Employer determines strike

“The employer alone determines the length of the strike.”

The South African Teachers Union (SATU) suggested that principals wait for instructions from the provincial departments in this regard.

“If the head of education orders that the exams be postponed, corresponding action should be taken.

"If schools don’t receive an order from the head of education and provincial exam papers don’t reach schools in time, they should write their own exam papers. This will enable them to calculate annual grades according to national policy prescriptions,” reads the newsletter to schools.

A new date will have to be determined for subjects such as computer application technology, where provinces arranged to write the same exam paper.

Dr Granville Whittle, spokesperson for the department of basic education, says the situation is being monitored and the department will advise provinces by the end of the week whether these exams will go ahead or be postponed.

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