Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga announced on Friday that matric pupils had to re-write Maths Paper 2 and Physics Paper 2Picture Ian Landsberg/African News Agency (ANA).
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga announced on Friday that matric pupils had to re-write Maths Paper 2 and Physics Paper 2Picture Ian Landsberg/African News Agency (ANA).

Plea to not boycott the matric re-write

By Sne Masuku Time of article published Dec 10, 2020

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Durban - THE Inkatha Freedom Party has appealed to the matric class of 2020 not to boycott re-writing the mathematics and physical science papers should the court make a ruling to this effect.

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga announced on Friday that matric pupils had to re-write Maths Paper 2 and Physics Paper 2.

Civil rights organisation AfriForum has assisted four pupils to lodge an urgent application in the Pretoria High Court today on Wednesday to reverse Motshekga’s decision.

The pupils want the minister to be interdicted from destroying any answering scripts.

Some teacher unions, including the SA Democratic Teachers’ Union, are also planning to challenge Motshekga’s decision in court.

However, the National Teachers’ Union supported the minister’s decision, saying it was an undisputed fact that the two exam papers were leaked, and since the extent of the leak could not be conclusively determined, the only way to protect the integrity and the credibility of the examinations was to have rewrites.

The Congress of South African Students, in a statement, called for the matric pupils to boycott rewriting the two papers, saying that both the department and quality assurer Umalusi had failed to prove why all pupils had to rewrite these papers when it was less than 200 out of 390 000 candidates who might have seen the paper.

Addressing pupils during his visit to Umtapo High School yesterday, IFP leader Velenkosini Hlabisa said matric pupils across the country faced enormous challenges regarding their academic year during the Covid-19 outbreak and more recently uncertainty looms over their heads. “However, they would have to respect the court’s ruling.”

He said while they were disappointed with the blanket approach by the department to force all pupils to rewrite the leaked papers, the IFP urged all affected pupils to rewrite so they were not disadvantaged.

“We need to be responsible. We cannot say pupils should boycott rewriting because that will place them at a disadvantage. We believe the government will come to realise that during marking, it will become clear who had access to the leaked paper and who did not,” he said.

He said they have established the pupils who had access to the leaked papers belonged to a certain WhatsApp group and were pupils from certain advantaged and best performing schools, schools that the government wanted to assist to perform well and gain access to university. They were not from the disadvantaged township and rural schools.

“The unilateral decision that they must rewrite is unfair to pupils who were not exposed to the leaked papers. We encourage teachers to put all efforts to assist our pupils to perform well in these exams,” said Hlabisa.

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.

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, they said.

Additional reporting by Sisonke Mlamla

Daily News

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