South Africa, Cape Town – SA Democratic Teachers Union’s (Sadtu) decision to challenge Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga’s announcement that matric pupils must rewrite two exam papers that were leaked is expected to be heard in court today.
“We are hoping that it will be heard tomorrow (Tuesday). They (lawyers) are still taking down affidavits… to beef up the case,” Cembi said.
Motshekga announced last week that due to the Maths Paper 2 and Physical Science Paper 2 being leaked, pupils throughout the country who wrote the exams would have to rewrite them.
The Western Cape’s Commissioner for Children, Christina Nomdo, called for the cancellation of the rewrites, saying the Department of Basic Education (DBE) should consider the mental health of the matric pupils in the context of the difficulties presented during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Nomdo said matric pupils were being punished for failures in government security.
Equal Education and the Equal Education Law Centre said they were worried about the stress and uncertainty caused by the leaking of papers and by the decision that they must be rewritten.
The two organisations said quality assurer Umalusi and the DBE had a duty to explain to pupils, parents and teachers all the options that were considered to protect the integrity of the matric exams, before settling on the rewriting of the papers as the only solution.
Progressive Principals Association spokesperson Faiek Abrahams said from the principals’ point of view, the rewrites would create more work for them; but from the learners’ perspective, they would present an opportunity to improve their results, as many learners had not had “great experiences” with paper 2, which had been among their tougher papers.
“On the flip side, what if the first write was the best for the student?” asked Abrahams.
“It is unfair on those who studied hard to prepare for the paper? Those who are guilty (of leaking the papers) should be taken to task after a thorough investigation.”