Nkosana Lekotjolo and Vumani Mkhize
The deputy director-general for Further Education and Training, Penny Vinjevold, says of the 196558 grade 12 pupils who failed their matric exams last year, only 165000 will get a chance to rewrite in June.
The remaining 31558 pupils failed to register with theEducation Department to rewrite the exams. They missed the closing date for registration on February 6.
Vinjevold advised those who did not meet the registration deadline not to despair since they would still get another chance to rewrite - but only until 2011.
After 2011 there won't be any chance for a rewrite.
Last year's curriculum would be totally phased out as the Outcomes-Based Education (OBE) is now in place and applicable to all grades as from this year.
"We are absolutely satisfied with the number of learners who registered for the rewrite. We were expecting about 100000 to register, but the number who registered clearly exceeded our
expectations," said Vinjevold.
The department is giving grade 12 pupils who did not matriculate last year a chance to rewrite again through a programme called Second Chance.
The department has budgeted nearly R60million to ensure that the class of 2007 gets as many chances to rewrite as possible before the old matric curriculum is phased out completely.
The department will pay all the tuition fees for repeaters for this year only, provide them with textbooks and pay for the experts who will be giving them lessons.
After this year, for the next three years, the learners will have to pay their own fees.
The Congress of South African Students (Cosas), however, says it is worried about the Second Chance programme. It says the department has not done enough in terms of notifying learners about the proper processes of registration.
Cosas president Kenny Motshegoa said: "It's a matter of concern because there has not been enough publicity around this issue."
Cosas is adamant that the department has not given an adequate directive with regard to what needs to be done.
Londiwe Shibe, who failed matric last year, said that if her teacher aunt had not told her about registration, she would not have known. She attends Icesa City Campus in Durban, and the only lessons that she goes for are the two-hour Saturday lessons.
"I am going to rewrite accounting and isiZulu, and I haven't received any extra material," she said.