Just when fervent efforts were being made to help millions of school children catch up on time lost during a month-long public service strike comes a disturbing threat from the Congress of South African Students (Cosas) to disrupt schooling.
For all its wisdom, the pupils' organisation has threatened a boycott of exams if the Education Department does not accede to its demand for a 20percent add-on exam mark for pupils.
But then this is so characteristic of Cosas - always choosing inauspicious moments to punch beyond its weight. Hence its ill-timed threat, which is not only unfortunate but also counterproductive, given the proximity of the examinations and the massive expense already incurred in sponsoring national catch-up programmes and materials for schools.
That its demands might not be feasible or practical after all seemingly escapes Cosas - as does the fact that its notorious pass-one-pass-all campaigns tarnish the integrity of exams. Thus it can expect little, if any, sympathy from the children's parents and other stakeholders for its ill-conceived campaign, least of all from its own constituency.
History has shown that bargaining power - in the wrong hands - tends to befuddle.
We hope this is not the case with Cosas.