Sadtu, Cosas to take Motshekga to court over exam papers rewrite decision

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Education stakeholders, teachers’ union Sadtu and students’ organisation Cosas, are planning to go to court to challenge Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga’s decision to get matric learners to rewrite the exam papers that were leaked.

On Friday, Motshekga announced that matric learners would rewrite the Mathematics Paper 2 and Physical Science Paper 2 in December.

Mathematics Paper 2 will be written on 15 November and the Physical Science Paper on 17 November.

Matriculants to rewrite leaked exam papers:

An employee of a Johannesburg-based company that the department had contracted to print matric exam papers, has been arrested following an investigation by the Hawks.

Matric learner, Khadidja Ndlovu was very excited because she was only left with one paper before she finished writing her exams. Now, that excitement has turned into frustration.

Ndlovu will now rewrite the Mathematics Paper 2 and Physical Science Paper 2.

She says she won’t enjoy her holiday.

“Knowing that I have to write both Maths and Physical Science really, especially after the 16th, I won’t even enjoy the holiday. After the 16th is Christmas. Everything is just ruined. But anyway we have no choice. They did not even ask for our opinions.”

Ndlovu says it is unfair that learners are now being punished even though not all of them had access to the leaked exam papers.

“This is not fair because we have never even received those question papers. We don’t even have access. The people that should be punished are people from the DBE. We have nothing to do with this and I am really disappointed.”

Cosas has called on learners not to rewrite the exam papers that were leaked.

Cosas national spokesperson Douglas Ngobeni says they reject Motshekga’s decision.

“The Department of Basic Education is just clowning around. We reject the rewriting of the paper. Our learners must not go to the classrooms to write the paper. And we are also taking the Department of Basic Education to court to stop that arrangement.”

Sadtu says it does not support this move, describing it as irrational.

Sadtu’s Mugwena Maluleke says they will also approach the court to interdict Motshekga’s decision.

“The evidence is that the 195 learners that might have seen the papers, not only seen but some of them might not even have practised that particular paper out of 391 000 learners. This cannot justify that all learners must rewrite. We need to take into account the mental state of our children who have been preparing this thing under very difficult circumstances.”

Negative psychological impact

Meanwhile, Clinical Psychologist Hameeda Bassa-Suleman says that this have a negative psychological impact on learners.

“It’s going to put them under generalised anxiety, stress and pressure. To take students who think they had been writing the original exam and to be told that was not the original exam and they are going to have to write again, is going to put them under a different frame of mind which is not going to put them at their best. There will be very few students with a lot of resilience who will be able to do better on the second exam. But a lot of students will suffer because of this unprecedented kind of opportunity whereby they will have to rewrite an exam they thought they’d finished.”