Education department to appeal parts of dismissed matric rewrite judgment

SABC News matric write 1 - Education department to appeal parts of dismissed matric rewrite judgment

The Basic Education Department plans to appeal parts of a judgment setting aside the decision to rewrite two leaked matric exam papers. It says it will not push for the rewrite because of time constraints.

On Friday, the Pretoria High Court ruled that the decision by Basic Education Minister, Angie Motshekga, to force matrics to rewrite the leaked national Maths paper two and the Physical Science paper two, is irregular and unlawful.

Department of Basic Education spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga says they will seek further court action.

“We have that intention of challenges parts of the judgment handed down, because we had some challenges in some part of it, especially because it didn’t deal with the key issues which was the integrity, credibility and fairness of the 2020 national senior certifications. It didn’t tell us how we should move on in terms of handling the cloud – handing over the examination.”

The National Professional Teacher’s Organisation (NAPTOSA) has outlined the process that needs to take place before quality assurance body, Umalusi, determines the integrity of the 2020 National Senior Certificate exams.  The rewrites were scheduled for the 15th and 17th December respectively.

The Council of Education agreed that learners faced a number of challenges this year amid the coronavirus pandemic.

NAPTOSA’s Executive Director is Basil Manuel says, “We’ve got to get on with the process and get to marking. Marking will pick up that there are some irregularities which we have to deal with. Umalusi in its own right has to then determine, based on those irregularities, if they are substantial enough to warrant a question on the exam as a whole – which we don’t believe is true because you have to show substantial irregularities to say the entire exam is called into question. That is the only process that is left for now, irrespective of unhappiness, we’ve got to go through with the process as it stands.”

Meanwhile, the Department has welcomed Umalusi’s decision to work with the relevant structures following the leaking of matric exam papers. Mhlanga, says Umalusi has decided against pre-empting the integrity of the 2020 National Senior Certificate exams.

“I think Umalusi is correct in not participating in the discussions because they have a difficult job to do. They will be the final authority on the announcement regarding the integrity, credibility and fairness of the results. But that will happen once the department has completed its work. Whatever they say they might be accused of already having taken aside – whereas in their statement they say they don’t want to take a side, they know the judgment and they will wait until the department has completed its work and submit an irregularities report, which is something that we are going to do. It is that report that the department will do once marking has been completed which will assist them in making a decision.”

In the video below, the High Court in Pretoria sets aside the matric rewrite decision:

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