Grade 12 learners across South Africa will not be writing examinations in June, the Department of Basic Education announced on Wednesday, 2 June. This is in order to make up the learning time lost by matric students due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
RECOUPING LOST CURRICULUM TIME BY SCRAPPING MATRIC EXAM
Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga told the portfolio committee that the department wants to keep matric learners in classrooms for as long as possible because of the impact of the pandemic on teaching and learning.
“We want to make up for lost time and for them to cover the curriculum,” said Motshekga during the presentation, according to SowetanLive. “They did not go on holiday in March and most of the schools are giving extra classes.”
Motshekga said the part of the term, which is usually reserved for the June examinations will be used to cover more of the curriculum instead.
Department spokesperson, Elijah Mhlanga, said this year’s matric learners are particularly affected by the pandemic because they did not finish the 2020 academic syllabus and there was a delayed start to the current academic year.
EDUCATION UNIONS HAVE THEIR SAY
Basil Manuel, from the National Professional Teachers’ Organisation of SA (NAPTOSA), told EWN that matric learners have a serious backlog and it is in their best interest to cover the work they missed instead of writing the mid-year exam.
The Congress of South African Students (COSAS) is dubious of the decision and called the department inconsistent. Douglas Ngobeni, speaking on behalf of the organisation, said enough time has already been lost, adding that June exams are a way for students to gauge how well they understand the work.
COSAS argued that the department should have made it known that the matric June exams would not be taking place at the start of the academic year already.