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'This is unfair to many pupils': Mzansi weighs in on matric rewrite

07 December 2020 - 13:56 By unathi nkanjeni
Basic education minister Angie Motshekga said due to the maths paper 2 and physical science paper 2 being leaked, matric pupils would have to rewrite them. File image.
Basic education minister Angie Motshekga said due to the maths paper 2 and physical science paper 2 being leaked, matric pupils would have to rewrite them. File image.
Image: Gallo Images/Die Burger/Jaco Marais

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.”

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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:

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