State, teacher unions say they have sufficiently prepared pupils

Sne Masuku

Sne Masuku

The Congress of South African Students (Cosas) wants the matric exams in KwaZulu-Natal postponed because the recovery programme to catch up for lost teaching time has BEEN UNSUCCESSFUL.

The recovery plan was aimed to offset the teaching time lost because of the public service strike earlier this year.

Cosas spokesman Isaac Luthuli says only a few schools in the province benefited from the recovery plan because the process was voluntary.

He said their attempts to get the national Education Department to postpone the exams until the beginning of next month or reschedule the timetable has failed.

"We have gone as far as asking the national department to rearrange the timetable in such a way that there is a two-day interval before papers."

Education spokesman Lunga Nqengelele said Education Minister Naledi Pandor has on many occasions said that the postponement was impossible because of the number of stakeholders involved.

"As the department we are ready and we have done all we could for the learners. We urge learners to put everything aside and use all the study materials that we have made available," Nqengelele said.

Meanwhile, teacher unions in KwaZulu-Natal say they have done all they could to prepare matriculants for final-year exams that start next week.

The unions are confident that the matric exams would run smoothly regardless of the recent strike action that dragged on for 21 days.

Spokesman for the National Teachers Union (Natu) Allen Thompson said the province's recovery plan has paid off.

"Our members worked for the full 21 days including the June holidays, with morning and afternoon classes. They did all they could to make sure that the impact of the strike is not felt."

Thompson said should there be a drop in the matric results, it should not be blamed on the teachers.

National Professional Teachers' Organisation of South Africa (Naptosa) spokesman Anthony Pierce said their members were more than ready for the exams.

"The drop in the pass rate would be through the problem of not having enough teachers in subjects such as maths, science and accounting," said Pierce.

He said the matric pass rate would not drop because there was a massive strike action this year.