Students of Kliptown Secondary School along with thousands of Matriculants from around the country write their first paper (English Paper 1 ) of the Matric 2015 exams on Monday. Picture: Timothy Bernard 26.10.2015
Students of Kliptown Secondary School along with thousands of Matriculants from around the country write their first paper (English Paper 1 ) of the Matric 2015 exams on Monday. Picture: Timothy Bernard 26.10.2015

Are matric exam markers qualified?

By VISVIN REDDY Time of article published Dec 12, 2019

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DURBAN - If you are like me, the most important gift I can give my child is a sound education. 

To me, it’s the one thing that will allow them to survive even when I’m gone. Some parents believe that leaving their children tons of money will secure their future. 

I don’t believe so because I have seen people inherit so much money that they did not know what to do with it. Within a short space of time, they lost it all.

Education is priceless, and its value is everlasting.

Like my parents, I will do anything to ensure my children have the best schooling. 

I remember my parents, who sold sheep head and trotters, to send me to further my studies. They never made it to matric, but their heart’s desire was that we go beyond them. 

My parents sacrificed many comforts and pleasures in life so we could be educated, and when we graduated, it brought joy to them.

I feel the same way when my children receive awards at school and university. I become so emotional that I cannot control the tears. 

Their achievements academically are my pride and joy. I, too, would not hesitate to sell the clothes off my back so my children could get educated.

Throughout their schooling years, we monitor their performance and the commitment displayed by their teachers. 

We can only do so much, but the rest is left to these educators, in whose hands we entrust the future of our children. There are many of them who give their best, and I salute them. They show a keen interest in the performance of our kids.

However, like every profession, there’s always the rotten eggs. 

Among teachers, too, there are those who shirk and use their profession as a part-time source of income. 

They moonlight in other jobs, offer extra tuition, at a cost to their students and care less about those who perform poorly.

I quit teaching because I could not do justice to my profession while doing other jobs. I realise that these children’s future cannot be played with. I had to give my 100% and nothing less, so I left.

Now, after 12 years of watching and monitoring and being nice to the teachers, our children sat for their final matric papers. The ones who mark these papers are unknown to us. 

There are hundreds of thousands of scripts that must be marked within a prescribed period. We have no idea who these markers are, or if they can answer the questions themselves. 

Some of you will argue that there is a marking memo, but not all subjects or questions require single answers. Those of you, who are educators, will know what I am talking about.

There is also the option of having papers remarked, but this comes at a cost. It would be interesting to know what the stats are. 

In the past, how many marks were adjusted after a remark was requested, and paid for? What about those children who cannot afford a remark? 

Can those who mark and check our children’s papers be able to answer those question papers themselves? What criteria does the Department of Education use to select these markers? 

We need answers to these questions because our duty as parents does not end when our children write their examinations. 

It goes beyond that to ensure they are not disadvantaged because of weak markers. 

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