THE Department of Basic Education has expressed concern about the credibility of the matric examinations after the High Court in Pretoria declared its decision to force matric exams rewrite as irregular and unlawful.
The high court ruled that the Department’s decision to order the rewrite was unlawful and irregular following an urgent court application by Afriforum, the South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu), and other concerned parties.
Both Mathematics and Physical Science papers were leaked on the day of the examinations, prompting an investigation by the Department of Basic Education and the Hawks.
“After a meeting with Ministers and MEC’s on Saturday, the Director General has been advised not to challenge the court’s judgement, that matriculants should not re-write the two leaked papers,” said basic education’s spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga.
Mhlanga confirmed that there would be no re-write of the two leaked exam papers, adding that this was a difficult decision for the court to make.
Teachers’ unions and civil organizations argued that it was not fair for all learners to be punished for what some of the learners did.
“The difficulty about the judgement is that it has plunged the Basic Education sector and to some extentthe education and training system in South Africa into an unprecedented crisis,” said Mhlanga.
Afriforum, Sadtu and others argued in court that the Department had not completed the investigation and said this deemed the conclusion as illegal.
“As indicated in our answering document, we could not determine the extent of the leak and that makes it difficult to even anticipate to what the statement of Umalusi is going to be in this regard,” added Mhlanga.
Mhlanga said if the extent of the leak is unknown, then a re-write is the next best decision.
(SOURCE: INSIDE EDUCATION)