Matric marks delay continues

2009-01-06 00:00

REPORTS of anger and frustration over still outstanding matric results continued to pour in yesterday as those affected told their stories in the hopes that they would be helped.

A woman whose son attended Linpark High last year has described the experience as appalling and unacceptable.

She asked not to be named, as she has a younger child who is still at the school and she is looking for a new school.

She said that about 80% of matriculants in that school still don’t have their English and Afrikaans marks. This means that those pupils who passed will never have the pleasure of seeing their names printed in the papers.

“Our children have been miserably failed by the department and the school. These children have worked hard for [their matrics] and to have their names not printed with the hundreds of other learners was heartrending, to say the least. It is quite shocking. Some of these pupils still don’t know whether they have passed.”

She said the explanation given by the school was that marks were sent to the department but were never captured.

“That is the excuse they are giving us, but we can’t prove that the results were sent [to the department] ... The real problem is that none of these teachers were adequately equipped to handle this ridiculous OBE system. They did not know what was going on and their lack of knowledge has now harmed our children’s future.”

The mother said they have been told that new marks have been sent to the department, but they don’t know when they will be released.

In addition to this, she said pupils who did Electrical Studies were informed of the practical exam only a week before the due date, but they did not know that it counted towards the end of year marks. As a result, the practicals were never done.

“The kids are saying the teacher did not know what they were doing. For the first term, they did not have text books. The next term they did, but the teacher did not know what to do with them and the third term was spent watching DVDs.”

Unions said about 17 000 pupils have been affected by this in the province and 56 000 in the country, making it 10% of those who wrote.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) claims to have been approached by two independent sources claiming that the marks of weak pupils were deliberately inflated by markers upon instruction from department officials.

DA MP Desiree van der Walt said this adds to concerns over what has widely been expressed as the “window-dressing” of this year’s matric exam result.

“We have formally written to the Education Minister, Naledi Pandor, asking for an independent inquiry.

“Until such an inquiry is initiated, we call on any other teachers or officials who wish to report instances where they have been instructed by superiors to inflate results, to approach us directly.”

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