The lowdown on school disruptions

2010-09-18 16:36

Matrics of schools in some provinces are sailing through their preliminary exams, while others have experienced serious disruptions.

This is how matrics fared:

» Gauteng education spokesperson Charles Phahlane said all the matriculants in the province are currently writing exams. The exams started on the September 14 and will end on September 23.
On Monday, there was an issue regarding the physical science paper that was shifted to a later date and this communication might have not reached all schools on time.

Schools instead wrote the home language and life orientation papers that were set by the school.
Timetables have since been clarified.

Four schools in Sharpeville will write the paper on a different date as a result of disruptions.

There were no incidents at Gauteng schools since Wednesday. Prelims are proceeding smoothly and some schools have started running catch-up lessons in the afternoons from 4-6pm.

» Free State education spokesperson Howard Ndaba said the province’s prelims should have started by August 24. Schools not affected by the strike did start on that date.

The rest was postponed, first to September 6, then to September 9. The exam will continue until September 23.

Cosas caused problems at the township schools of Allanridge, Parys, Bultfontein and Bothaville.
The department had a meeting with Cosas on Tuesday to ask Cosas to allow schools ready for the exams to write.

The rest would be allowed to make special arrangements with the department to write later. Most schools indicated that they were ready to write.

» North West spokesperson Charles Raseala said two high schools, Rethusegile and Iketletso, were disrupted by Cosas and police had to be called in.

But by Friday, learners were writing peacefully.

The province also had problems at Tlakgameng village, 85km from Vryburg, but conditions here were back to normal by Thursday.

There were also attempts to disrupt Lapologang High in Mafikeng and Moratwe High in Moretele.

During the strike schools were running normally, even in townships and villages.

And in “hotspots” during the strike, students taught matrics, study groups were formed by learners themselves and learners went to school even in the absence of teachers.

North West was one of the provinces that insisted that the prelims continued.

» KwaZulu-Natal spokesperson Mbali Thusi said no exam papers in the province had been disrupted.

Cosas called on learners not to write and at a few schools there were people who demanded that learners don’t write, but no exams were disrupted.

Schools that had a 60% or smaller pass rate last year were compelled to write the provincial papers, others had a choice.

» Eastern Cape spokesperson Mali Mtima said his province’s exams were scheduled for the nationally set dates of September 13 to 23.

Prelims did however not start as originally scheduled due to the uncertainties related to the strike.

The exams had to be rescheduled twice and participation varied from district to district.

Fort Beaufort, Port Elizabeth, King Williams Town and Lady Frere experienced serious problems. In other districts there were isolated incidents.

The most heavily affected were the township schools. By the end of this week close to 80% of schools were writing.

Stategies to handle Cosas protests varied from district to district. In cases where lives or the safety of the learners and teachers was threatened, examinations were be suspended for the day.

These matrics will be internally examined by schools.

» Western Cape education education spokesperson Bronagh Casey said the majority of her province’s schools began the examination process in the first week of September; others have followed suit.

They were confident that these examinations would be completed in all schools in the Western Cape by the close of the third term.

Some 85% of schools were unaffected by the strike during the whole period.

There were delays in some schools, particularly in Mitchell’s Plein and Khayelitsha.

However, all schools have either completed, or are in the process of completing, these examinations.
There have been no disruptions by Cosas in the Western Cape.

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