Historically, the matric results have been made widely available with students identified through their ID numbers. Picture Ian Landsberg/African News Agency (ANA)
Historically, the matric results have been made widely available with students identified through their ID numbers. Picture Ian Landsberg/African News Agency (ANA)

Decision to no longer publish matric results on media platforms 'the right thing'

By Sisonke Mlamla Time of article published Jan 11, 2022

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Cape Town - FOR the first time in history the Department of Basic Education (DBE) has announced that matric exam results will no longer be published on media platforms.

DBE spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga on Monday issued a letter, stating that the DBE recognises that section 14 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, provides that everyone has the right to privacy.

Mhlanga said that the right to privacy includes a right to protection against the unlawful collection, retention, dissemination and use of personal information.

He said in order to comply with the provisions of the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA), the usual practice of publishing the national senior certificate (NSC) results on public media platforms would not occur for 2022.

"As was also the practice in previous years, all learners will be required to obtain their statement of results from the schools they attended," Mhlanga said.

He said every learner’s personal information regarding the outcome of their national senior certificate exam would be protected.

The results are expected to be released on 21 January. Historically, the matric results have been made widely available with learners identified through their ID numbers.

Education activist Hendrick Makaneta said the POPIA imposes an obligation on everyone to respect the privacy of individuals' information and the department is doing the right thing.

“But it is also important for the country to know how the education system is performing as compared with the rest of the world,” Makaneta said.

He said the POPIA is likely to be a nice scapegoat for lack of accountability by education managers.

“We all saw for ourselves how South Africa came out last in a study conducted by the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS),” he said.

He said the days of accountability are coming to an end as the authorities will now hide behind the POPI Act.

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Cape Argus

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