End of SA’s matric results ritual

2008-07-04 00:00

Matric results will no longer be published in newspapers, bringing to an end an annual ritual accompanied by all-night parties all over the country.

The national Education Department said it wants matrics to see their results in private before they are splashed over newspapers.

National Education spokesman Lunga Ngqengelele said results will most likely first be released to schools before hitting the media.

“We will continue to use the media, but in a different form … We do recognise the media as an important partner and vehicle in the dissemination of information. But what we are saying is first release the results into schools and allow the learner that privacy before it is published in the media.”

The decision to leave the media out was first alluded to by Education Minister Naledi Pandor when she released last year’s results.

Ngqengelele said the decision was motivated by the concern that the pressure on pupils can lead to suicides, and that all-night parties while children wait for newspapers are the scene of alcohol binges and anti-social behaviour.

“You would also find that the media would make mistakes, which led to serious consequences.

They would omit publishing a student’s name who commits suicide, only to find later that they passed. We want to create a controlled environment to curb those issues.”

The results are published by newspapers exactly as supplied to them by the Education departments.

Ngqengelele said the decision is final.

“What we have finalised is the fact that we are looking at other ways to release the results to learners before releasing it to the media. What’s finalised is that the media will publish the results thereafter. What’s not finalised is the how. We will be looking at other plans from now on until the results are released.”

Provincial spokeswoman Mbali Thusi said KZN will implement the directive from the national office.

Basil Manuel, national vice president of the National Association of Professional Teachers of South Africa, said the idea of releasing results in a controlled environment is not bad if it will help control the revellery that takes place, but he said it will mean principals and teachers will now have to be at schools for the release of results.

“Yes, the students do silly things, but will they be able to control it even with the controlled environment? Speaking on personal capacity, I have a daughter in matric and we don’t always know what the youngsters are planning,” said Manuel.

Chairman for the KZN Education portfolio committee, Senzo Mchunu, said he was not part of the decision- making process, but he shares the concerns that some children could kill themselves over wrong results published in the media.

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