DA criticises exam delay
Johannesburg - A decision to postpone preliminary matric exams in Gauteng due to the public strike, put learners at a disadvantage, the DA said on Wednesday.
"The MEC's decision implies that the government is nowhere close to clinching a deal with the unions," said Democratic Alliance education spokesperson Khume Ramulifho in a statement.
He called on Gauteng Education MEC Barbara Creecy to review the decision to postpone the exams for two weeks.
"The MEC's decision puts learners at a disadvantage. The DA believes that districts have a duty to assist learners during a strike," said Ramulifho.
"Teachers' salaries can be back-dated, but learners' futures cannot be reversed."
He said there were many volunteers who could help students prepare for the exams.
Creecy announced on Wednesday that the preliminary exams, that would have started on September 3, had now been moved to the week of September 20.
"The Gauteng department of education has regrettably taken a decision to postpone the preliminary examinations for two weeks," her spokesperson Charles Phahlane said in a statement.
He said the strike by public servants, including teachers, had necessitated the move.
"Firstly, the current strike conditions make it difficult to continue with the exams immediately, and secondly, once the public sector strike ends, it will be necessary to catch up on teaching time," he said.
"It will therefore be necessary to twin exams with the catch-up programme."
He said the department "empathised with the stress" matriculants and their parents were experiencing.
Study guides were available on www.thutong.doe.gov.za or www.education.gpg.gov.za. SABC public service radio stations were broadcasting education programmes, said Phahlane.
The Eastern Cape education department said it would also postpone its exams, adding that more information would be released later.