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Equal Education supports decision not to publish matric results

Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga has announced that the matric results will not be published on media platforms. Picture: Jacques Naude African News Agency (ANA)

Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga has announced that the matric results will not be published on media platforms. Picture: Jacques Naude African News Agency (ANA)

Published Jan 13, 2022

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DURBAN – Professionals in the education sector have welcomed the Minister of Basic Education’s decision not to publish the results of the National Senior Certificate (NSC) for the class of 2021 and others to come, on public media platforms.

On Tuesday, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga stated that the matric results would not be made public.

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She cited the need for compliance with the provisions of the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA) as the reason for the decision.

According to Equal Education’s (EE) researcher, Elizabeth Biney, the organisation supported the minister’s decision.

“Equal Education welcomes the Department of Basic Education’s decision to no longer publish learner’s matric results in the public domain. This decision is in line with the department’s legal duty, per the Protection of Personal Information Act, to protect the personal information of learners,” said Biney.

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The organisation further stated that they are also of the view that matric results are personal and that learners should be allowed to control when and how they choose to disclose such information.

Biney added that the decision would also have a psychological impact on the learners.

“The current stance will alleviate some of the psychological stress that the public release of matric results may have imposed on learners in the past- particularly for those who may not have performed as desired or expected. The department’s decision not to publish results does not hinder or limit learner’s access to their results as they can access these through their schools and other platforms,” she said.

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Professor Ramodungoane Tabane, chair of department: Psychology of Education at UNISA said he also agreed with the decision.

“I am in agreement with the minister’s decision, because it gives control of the outcome to the owner of that particular result. Before, we know that there were those who couldn’t even afford that particular newspaper and would have to rely on neighbours to tell them whether they have passed or not. There was always dire consequences when they got it, because of the way the news would be broken to them when they did not make it. Right now it is more private and it is individualised so I am for it,” said Tabane.

He added that the activity of acknowledging and celebrating matric results takes a few days and during this time the unsuccessful candidates suffer mentally and emotionally.

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He said this results in withdrawal from family and friends, avoidance of social activity, constant hypersensitivity, hyper alertness, anxiety and a sense of worthlessness because it is public knowledge.

He added that the new system gives individuals the opportunity to deal with their own results, work through them and then normalise themselves with it, while figuring out their next move.

Nosipho Mzila, who is awaiting her results for the NSC examinations said that she is not happy with the minister’s decision.

“I am not happy with the decision. Imagine arriving at the venue to fetch your results and everyone who already knows theirs is outside celebrating, and then you see a fail, for the first time, in front of your peers! Disappointment is not easy to hide, but if it were published and you had seen it at home, you would be better prepared to face the others” she said.

Olwethu Silangu also said that she does not support the decision.

“This decision takes away the excitement of the entire experience. Accessing the results through a newspaper was less costly, and just the pride of seeing your name on the paper for something positive. Only accessing them at school or via a cellphone is also a limitation as some people do not have access to devices, airtime and simple things like a proper network connection,” said Silangu.

Centre of Science and Technology students celebrate after receiving their matric results in 2020. The 2021 matric results will be released next week. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane African News Agency(ANA)

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