Home-schooled matrics in jeopardy

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Mason Gregorowski, of the Thousand Hills College in Bothas Hill, was one of the privately schooled matrics who has not received his results. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo

KwaZulu-Natal - A thousand matrics from the class of 2012, most home-schooled, would have to wait another two weeks to know if they had passed, the Basic Education Department said on Tuesday.

The pupils did not receive their final marks last week, jeopardising their chances of getting into university.

The delay has been put down to a breakdown in communication between the private examination boards, which administer the marks of these private candidates, the department and the National Senior Certificate quality watchdog, Umalusi.

The department said it was waiting for the pupils’ school-based assessment scores – the test and practical marks gathered throughout the year – which count for 25 percent of a matric pupil’s final results.

Luke Scott, who attended The Haven Academy in Kloof, and Mason Gregorowski, of the Thousand Hills College in Botha’s Hill, said their matric results stated that they were absent from the exams.

Mason’s mother, Gaye Gregorowski, said she was shocked when she looked up her son’s results and nothing came up.

“And I’ve heard nothing from the school.”

Luke’s mom, Heidi Scott, said she paid more than R40 000 towards tuition last year, including exam registration fees.

“The first time I knew there was a problem was when I got an e-mail from the headmaster of Victory Christian Academy in La Lucia, where the children went to write the exams, telling me there was an issue with the results.”

Victory Christian Academy is a registered exam centre.

Scott said Luke had been provisionally accepted to study music at a college in Cape Town based on his Grade 11 results, but now the institution would not confirm his place.

The boys’ schools are closed and were unable to comment.

Department spokesman Panyaza Lesufi pointed the finger at Umalusi on Tuesday, saying the exam body had only resolved the “vacuum” created by the collapse of one of the private examinations boards in November last year.

Regretted

The exam board in question was the Eksamensraad vir Christelike Onderwys (Erco).

“There was no way we were going to set aside the exam process for 600 000 matrics to satisfy 1 000. Now that we have concluded the national marking, we are inputting their marks. These kids were in a situation beyond their control, but we rescued them,” Lesufi said.

Umalusi issued a statement saying it was aware of the situation, which was “regretted”.

The statement explained that the affected pupils would have written the Erco exams.

However, because of Erco’s closure, their school-based assessments were managed by the SA Comprehensive Assessment Institute (Sacai), a private examination board provisionally accredited with Umalusi.

Umalusi said Sacai had received some marks from the home-based and Christian curriculum schools only after the November cut-off date.

However, the exam body said marks had not been captured by the provincial education departments, and many matrics who were registered through another private exam board, Impak, had outstanding practical and oral marks.

Impak chief executive Stefan Botha conceded that the outstanding marks had not been communicated to provincial education departments.

Botha said the process was cumbersome, but Impak had “agreed on a simpler process with Umalusi, which will hopefully speed up the process of rectifying marks”, Botha said.

Sacai representatives would not respond to calls.

Pestalozzi Trust head and lawyer Leendert van Oostrum, representing 700 pupils who did not receive their results, blamed the department.

 

Marius Bezuidenhout of the Durban-based Accelerated Christian Education Ministries said none of the 60 matric candidates from its affiliated schools had received all their results. - The Mercury


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