THE South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu) has vowed to challenge the rewriting of matric exams in court.
The teachers’ union said on Sunday it will file an urgent court application on Monday to challenge the decision by the Department of Basic Education.
The scheduled rewrite follows the leaks of two papers – Physical Science and Mathematics.
Sadtu has labelled the decision to have all learners doing mathematics and physical science to rewrite as irrational, unfair and premature because the investigation has not been concluded.
The union said based on the initial investigation which has shown that the number of learners who may have seen the paper were less than 200 out of the 390 000 who wrote the paper, there is no basis for a national rewrite.
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, the union said in a statement on Sunday.
Sadtu’s General Secretary Mugwena Maluleke said 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 paper,” said Maluleke.
The Department of Basic Education consulted with other unions and Sadtu this week.
At the meeting, the majority of unions made their views known that they were against the decision.
However, the quality assurer state agency, Umalusi, did not agree and the decision to rewrite was taken.
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga announced on Friday that the Mathematics Paper 2 will be written on Tuesday 15 December and Physical Science Paper 2 will be written on Thursday, 17 December.
“We consulted key stakeholders on the matter; from school governing body associations, school principals association, teacher unions and the quality assurance agency, UMALUSI. There was convergence on the need to protect the integrity of the examination and to expose the culprits who place the lives of our learners at risk,” said Motshekga.
“The National Senior Certificate (NSC) is the flagship qualification relating to schooling. Credibility of the NSC examination is of paramount importance. Any lingering doubt relating to the credibility of the NSC examinations must be thoroughly investigated and addressed. Avoiding prior access to the question paper is what all security measures are directed towards. Having considered all of these factors, CEM decided that a national rewrite of both Mathematics Paper 2 and Physical Sciences Paper 2 is necessary.”
(SOURCE: INSIDE EDUCATION)