Russell High matriculant’s torment after no results in paper

2011-01-11 00:00

WHILE her peers celebrated that they had passed matric, Phumla Zungu’s (19) name did not appear in newspapers even though she believed in her heart that she had passed.

The teen who matriculated from Russell High claims to be the only person from her school whose name was not featured in any newspaper for passing matric.

While she has since learnt that she not only passed but did so with a bachelor’s degree pass, Phumla will have no memorabilia of what should have been an auspicious moment of her life.

Speaking to The Witness at her Grange home, the teen said the experience, apart from tarnishing her reputation, has seen her understand the depression suffered by people who fail.

“I can safely call this the darkest moment of my life. In my community, making it to the newspaper for passing matric is a big deal. Everyone thinks I failed and it is a big embarrassment. It has been 12 years of hard work and commitment and it makes me so sad that I’m not getting recognition for it,” the teen told The Witness.

Before writing her exams, Phumla said statements had been sent to Russell High for pupils to verify the subjects they would be writing and other crucial information.

Her statement showed she would be writing isiZulu as a first additional language when it should have been Home Language.

However, Phumla’s was not the only statement with errors. After making the changes, pupils were told corrections would be sent to the Education Department.

However, Phumla was called to the office again to discover that the problem had not been resolved.

When she eventually wrote her papers, she had to sign elsewhere since her name was not on the register for isiZulu Home Language.

Her statement of results now shows she was absent for the writing of this particular exam.

“I don’t mind people mocking and making fun of me. People don’t believe that I passed and speak under their breath when I go outside. But what upset me was having to make a call to my mom to tell her that I didn’t make it knowing how much she struggled,” said a tearful Phumla.

Her father died when she was only 10 years old. Her mother works in Port Shepstone after training as a nurse.

Education Department spokesperson Mbali Thusi said it is difficult to say how many pupils have not received marks in all their subjects.

She said only the results for subjects where there are irregularities or outstanding information were held back. “No one can say they didn’t get their results. I know that there were schools in the province whose results were blocked because of irregularities, but that has since been cleared.”

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