UKZN professor opposes student union calls to scrap June exams
Durban - University of KwaZulu-Natal education expert Professor Labby Ramrathan is opposed to the call by the Congress of South African Students (Cosas) to Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga to scrap the June exams.
In a letter to Motshekga and the Presidency, Cosas proposed that the June exams be scrapped and suggested that tertiary institutions consider first-year students for the 2021 academic year based on their September exam results if the lockdown was extended.
The proposal comes after Cosas consulted with its members.
National convener Katleho Mangoejane said they had realised that the lockdown would be a national crisis and the students were therefore not calling for the total cancellation of the 2020 academic year, but for the June exams to be scrapped to recover the time lost.
He said the main concern was that strategies such as e-learning did not work as most pupils did not have access to the required resources while under lockdown at home.
The department was still considering Cosas’s recommendation, but it has decided to postpone the May/June Ammended Senior Certificate exam (old matric) and the National Senior Certificate exam to November.
National Teachers’ Union president Allen Thompson said unions had already agreed with the department to scrap the exams. The month-long lockdown is expected to end at the end of April, but a number of strategies would need to be implemented for the 2020 academic year before schools could re-open.
Ramrathan said the disruptions to the curriculum notwithstanding, he did not believe that scrapping the June exams, which formed part of the year’s assessment and are used to gain access to tertiary institutions, would be the right thing to do. He suggested that the exams go ahead based on the curriculum covered so far.