Leaked matric exams: Cosas urges dept to deal with 'crooks' as it slams rewriting of papers

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  • Cosas has called on the Department of Basic Education to take action against "crooks" in its ranks, responsible for the leaking of papers.
  • The student representative organisation condemned a decision by Minister Angie Motshekga to have two leaked matric papers rewritten.
  • Sadtu, the largest teachers' union in the country, has threatened legal action against the Department of Basic Education and Umalusi. 

The Congress of South African Students (Cosas) has thrown their support behind the South African Democratic Teachers' Union's (Sadtu) threat of legal action against the Department of Basic Education and quality assurance education body Umalusi.

The threat follows a decision by Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga to have Grade 12 pupils rewrite two leaked exam papers.

Cosas national spokesperson Zithulele Ndlela said the decision was unfair toward pupils who were now "carrying the burden of the department's mistakes".

"Examinations are psychological. Many learners were told they were done writing their exams and are now ready to spend time with family and go on holiday. Telling them they have to begin studying again will have a psychological impact on them; rewriting will affect their performance," said Ndlela.

MORE | All matric pupils to rewrite leaked Maths and Physical Science exams - here are the new dates and times

Sadtu planned to file an urgent court application on Monday to interdict the department's decision, saying it believed the decision was unfair and premature because investigations into the leaks had not been concluded.

"Based on the initial investigation, which has shown that the number of learners who may have seen the paper are less than 200 out of the 390 000 who wrote the paper, there is no basis for a national rewrite," Sadtu said in a statement on Sunday.

Ndela agreed, saying the department first needed to carry out an investigation as to how many pupils saw the paper prior to writing.

"We first need to see an analysis from the department as to how many learners had access to the paper. If only one percent saw the paper, why should the other 99% suffer?"

Cosas would be supporting action taken by Sadtu against the department, Ndela added.

"We condemn the decision by the education minister in the strongest terms... What has happened to those who leaked the paper?

''This paper did not come to learners as a Christmas present from Santa."

He said although nothing can be done to reverse this situation, the department has battled with the issue of leaked papers for years.

"It is [not] creating mechanisms to address the issue. Rewriting doesn't address the leaking of papers, and it doesn't solve the problem. If the department has crooks in it, it must deal with those crooks."

City Press reported that a legal firm representing a group of matrics was also threatening to bring an urgent interdict to prevent the rewrite.

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