By Hon Madlopha-mthethwa, IFP MPL On Education
Whilst the Inkatha Freedom Party accepts what was presented to the Portfolio Committee regarding the readiness of the Department to administer the matric exams, we want to remind the MEC and the Department that we have not been told how the Department will prevent mass copying or safeguard the integrity of the exams from other forms of cheating. We have not been told what has been the outcome of the investigations into the mass copying that occurred last year. Neither have we been told what punitive action was taken against those who were responsible for administering the exams at those centres — I am referring to the principals, invigilators and moderators associated with those schools.
We do not know if those personnel are going to be involved in this years’ exams. It is not enough for the Department to tell us that invigilators have been trained – trained to do what? Aid and abet mass copying? Assist students with answers irrespective of whether the answers are correct or not? Until such time that we are convinced that the integrity of the exams are beyond question, there will always be a cloud hanging over the results that will be presented amid much fanfare early next year.
As the IFP we are still concerned about the huge discrepancies that exist between urban and rural schools. Our students are not competing on a level playing field. How can our students compete with each other as equals when some schools do not have the basic infrastructure like laboratories, libraries, computer centres, suitable toilets, etc. Students from such schools are severely disadvantaged from the outset.
When we consider the ongoing student unrest at our universities, we can only feel the pain of those who are sitting for the matric exams now and have aspirations of going to university next year. It will be difficult for them to be focused on their exams amid such turmoil. The IFP calls upon the government to get its house in order and address the concerns of our students and restore the dignity of our universities.
The Inkatha Freedom Party conveys good wishes to all students who will be sitting for the matric examinations and all others who will be writing their year-end examinations. I take this opportunity to wish all students a safe and enjoyable festive season.
Contact: Mrs Thembeni Madlopha-Mthethwa, 079 114 3015