Sadtu urges Department of Basic Education to offer psychosocial support to Grade 12 learners

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Sadtu general secretary Mugwena Maluleke. File picture: Motshwari Mofokeng

PHUTI MOSOMANE

SOUTH African Democratic Teachers’ Union (SADTU) says the Department of Basic Education must make available psychosocial support to learners writing the examinations.

The continued power cuts have caused a wave of anxiety and unnecessary stress for dozens of learners writing their matric exams.

“The issue for us is that load shedding impacts learners’ emotional and mental health. We would like the department to appreciate that and step up to offer psychosocial support to mitigate Eskom problems,” SADTU General Secretary Mugwena Maluleke said.

Maluleke said it is unacceptable for the department to want learners who missed a particular paper to only get a chance next year.

He said contingency papers should be used this year so that learners can receive their results come January 9th, 2023.

“Each and every paper has a contingency paper. This is the flexibility we are looking for from the department.”

“Learners who were not able to write exams because of protest actions should be afforded an opportunity this year to write. Learners will be traumatized if they have to wait for May next year. It’s not their fault,” he added.

No leaked matric papers so far

“We have not seen any reports. We hope it remains the same way, we have requested parents to sign commitment agreements to work with us to ensure exams are clean. Learners have signed the pledges.”

“All delays were sorted out without delays. If there is loadshedding, there is likely going to be delay,” said Department of Basic Education spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga.

Maluleke says there are areas where the union is in agreement with the Department of Basic Education, especially on calling on those embarking on protest actions to allow for smooth running of the examinations.

“In 2020/21 these Grade 10 learners today in Grade 12 were attending a rotational timetable. For schools with less equipped resources, learners were attending once or twice a week, we can’t say that’s enough but we need to give thanks to teachers.”

“We thank the teachers for sacrificing their time and families in making sure that afternoon and evening classes are there, Maluleka said.

The basic education department’s director-general, Mathanzima Mweli, hosted a session on the progress of the exams during a media briefing.

In Gauteng, 53 learners couldn’t write Economics paper 1 on Tuesday from Etwatwa in Ekurhuleni due to protests.

“We’ve also picked up that there are some parents, and some schools that denied learners from writing exams because some of them fell pregnant and some of them had not paid school fees. Again, this is unlawful.”

“Our policies are very clear on these matters. The issue of school fees should be dealt with by parents or guardians. No learner should be prevented from writing exams because of having not paid school fees,” Mweli said.

INSIDE EDUCATION

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