Exams rewrite ruling: Unions ’vindicated’, some students hoped to improve marks
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The judgement by Judge Norman Davis has saved thousands of learners from a grave injustice that “would live with learners for the rest of their lives.”
This is according to the South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu) following the decision by the Pretoria High Court to set aside the rewriting of two matric exams.
On Friday, Judge Davis ruled that the decision by the Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga for matrics to rewrite two leaked exam papers was irregular, unlawful, must be reviewed and set aside.
Following the announcement by Motshekga that maths paper 2 and physical science paper 2 would be rewritten, Sadtu and AfriForum approached the court and challenged her decision.
But for the 20-year-old Ofentse Magoleo, Motshekga’s decision was too much and she is relieved that there are no rewrites as she would have had to write science and mathematics three times.
“I failed last year and I had to rewrite this year. Her decision was not fair on some of us, especially those rewriting their matric,” she said.
But fellow learner Thembi Nhlapho said she had mixed feelings about the judgement. The 17-year-old said she was disappointed by the court’s decision as she was hoping she would get a chance to improve her marks. On the other hand, she was nervous that the papers would be more difficult.
Sadtu spokesperson Nomusa Cembi said they welcomed the court’s decision.
Sadtu general secretary Mugwena Maluleke said the union believed that the decision to force all the matrics to rewrite was unfair and premature because the investigation had not been concluded.
“Based on the initial investigation which showed that the number of learners who may have seen the paper are less than 195 out of the 339 000 who wrote the maths paper which translate to less than 0, 06% and an even lower percentage in respect of the physical science paper, there was no basis for a national rewrite,” Mugwena said in a statement.
Mugwena said Judge Davis vindicated Sadtu and the other unions when he ruled that “there was no rational basis why the proposals by all stakeholders that a final decision on rewriting should only be taken once the further investigations have been concluded, should not be the way to go.”
The department confirmed there would be no rewrite.
The National Professional Teachers’ Organisation of SA (Naptosa) also concurred.
Naptosa executive director Basil Manuel said the court’s decision was a vindication of their stance.
The Sunday Independent