Lobby group AfriForum says it’s taking the Basic Education Department to court over its decision not to publish matric results.
The department says that the decision to stop publishing the National Senior Certificate results on media platforms was taken to avoid contravening the Protection of Personal Information Act.
AfriForum CEO Kallie Kriel says the decision will have a detrimental effect on a number of stakeholders.
“Other arguments also remain, that you should have hype about the media release of these results, we believe it is good, it motivates students so that they work hard at the beginning of the year. After their matric you have the top learners that are also being published but that also won’t happen and we believe if you look at the top learners being published, it’s also a motivation for younger students to also get that kind of achievement and also the recognition,” says Kriel.
In a statement last week, the department informed media houses that the move was in line with the Protection of Personal Information Act (Popia), which came into effect in July last year.
The South African National Editors’ Forum says the decision not to allow media houses to publish the results is not only unfortunate but also came as a surprise as there was no prior warning or consultation.
Basic Education Spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga says they are awaiting the court’s decision on the matter.
SANEF says the lack of consultation also has negative financial implications for media houses that have already procured additional printing paper and created data sets to be able to publish the results in print and digital format.
Three organisations, including AfriForum, approached the courts to reverse the decision.
Matric learners from Gqeberha in the Eastern Cape have mixed feelings about the recent announcement that exam results will no longer be published.
Some pupils support the idea, saying it will contribute to a decrease in the suicide rate associated with the release of matric results. But other learners at the opposite end, feel it’s a long-standing tradition that should remain.
Mixed reaction to decision not to publish matric results on public platforms:
Meanwhile, the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) has reiterated its plea to parents and guardians to communicate with young people who are anxiously awaiting their matric results.
The group says the uncertainty around the results could have a significant impact on people’s mental health. The matric results are due to be released on Thursday.
SADAG Mental Health Counsellor Zinhle Mkrweqana says it is important to identify signs of emotional distress.
“The most important thing is just support and validation. If a child is not feeling well about themselves, that acknowledgment and validation help them through it. If you skip the ‘I don’t feel good about my results’ or ‘I am not happy’ then the depression comes in because you want to ignore it. So, address those emotions like: how do you feel this way and how can we help support you. Then it is how can we apply and do other things. But the validation right now is what you’re feeling is ok and appropriate and equal to what is happening to you at that moment.”
Mixed emotions over decision to not publish matric results: