'This is unfair to many pupils': Mzansi weighs in on matric rewrite
The call by the education department that two matric exams will have to be rewritten has been met with criticism from many, including the South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu).
Last week, basic education minister Angie Motshekga announced that due to the maths paper 2 and physical science paper 2 being leaked, matric pupils would have to rewrite them.
Motshekga said the two papers would be rewritten on December 15 and December 17, respectively.
“The CEM [Council of Education Ministers] decided that a national rewrite of both mathematics paper 2 and physical sciences paper 2 is necessary. Mathematics paper 2 will be written on December 15 at 2pm, and physical sciences paper 2 will be written on December 17 at 9am,” she said.
“It was not an easy decision to take, but one which is necessary under the circumstances. We need to work hard to deal with the human factor in the examination system.”
LISTEN | Teachers, matrics 'have had enormous pressure' ahead of exams
However, Sadtu said it may approach the courts over the decision.In a statement, the union said the decision was “unfair and premature” and that it was considering legal action against the department and Umalusi — the examinations quality assurer.
“Preparing for the 2020 matric examinations was not easy under the Covid-19 conditions and the learners’ mental health and readiness for rewrite is a big issue,” said the union.
“The decision has left many learners and teachers distraught and frustrated. It undermines the work of our teachers and learners who worked under difficult circumstances due to Covid-19. Learners are being punished for something that is not of their making, as only a few saw the papers.”
Speaking to TimesLIVE on Sunday, basic education spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga said the department would not take the threat of a legal challenge lying down.
Meanwhile on social media, many echoed Sadtu's statement, saying the rewriting of exams was unfair to many pupils. Here is a snapshot of what social media users had to say:
I’ve been told that a more accurate figure is around 0.057% but that still shouldn’t take away from the fact that less than 1% of the matric students who take pure maths DID NOT have access to the paper.— Goosain Allie (@Goosain_Allie) December 4, 2020
Dear Matrics— Motheo™ (@Motheo06) December 6, 2020
See this rewrite as a second chance. Vele, life is unfair. People get falsely convicted, employees get retrenched. It's life. Just rewrite, who knows maybe you guys will do much better.
Rewriting is better than writing supplementary exams.@DBE_SA #Matric#DBE
It’s madness that the entire 2020 matric cohort must rewrite Maths Paper 2 and Physical Science- when less than 200 pupils are involved in the scam.— Lorenzo Davids (@UrbanLo) December 6, 2020
Let the matrics rest, bathong. These kids have had a tough matric year and they have pushed and pushed and now you want them to rewrite? They'll learn maths 2 and physics 2 at university. You basically learn almost everything from scratch at university anyway.— Puseletso (@Its_a_P_notB) December 6, 2020
I'm so glad there were no leaks, or cheating incidents when I was writing matric finals. Can't imagine the stress and disappointment of having to rewrite.😢— Happiness Morudu (@Just_Happy03) December 6, 2020