Education activist calls for leniency in marking exam scripts
Education activist Hendrick Makaneta is calling on the Department of Basic Education (DBE) to be lenient when marking the National Senior Certificate scripts for the Class of 2020.
Makaneta who was with the Education Transformation Network said: “There is no doubt that 2020 has been the most difficult year in the terrain of education.Pupils found themselves stranded especially during the lockdown period where learning and teaching literally came to a standstill. It is for this reason that as activists within the terrain of education we should all call on the department to do the right thing by being lenient to our learners in matric as they mark their scripts.”
Matric exams started on November 5 and are expected to end on December 15. Already there have been confirmed reports of a leaked Mathematics Paper 2.
The exams come at a time when matrics had just returned from a national lockdown brought forward by the Covid-19 pandemic, which in turn, cost the class of 2020 more than four months of academic class time.
The loss of class time, however, did not have any impact on how the exam papers were to be set long before the emergence of Covid-19 and had not been amended, hence the standard has not been lowered.
Makaneta said Umalusi, the Council for Quality Assurance in General and Further Education and Training, should be making necessary adjustments in line with the spirit of propelling the children within the system of higher education.
He said this would then help maintain the much-needed stability in both the basic and higher education terrain.
“We cannot expect to function normally under abnormal conditions of Covid-19. The pupils cannot be punished for something that was not created by them,” Makaneta added.
Meanwhile, Former South Peninsula High School principal Brian Isaacs said schools that were rich in resources were able to work through the pandemic unlike poorer schools.
“I am sure that parents in South Africa are very concerned about the future of their children in education at this time of the year.
“Our grade 12 students are unfortunately at the start of the examinations and the Department of Basic Education (DBE ) was hell- bent on getting the ill- prepared grade 12 students to write the final examination. One national spokesperson for DBE even had the audacity to say that the matric examinations should not be viewed against the background of Covid- 19.” said Isaacs.