Matric results issue resolved

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

The Congress of South African Students (Cosas) in KwaZulu-Natal has expressed satisfaction with the outcome of yesterday's meeting which resolved that all matric results should be released.

The resolution came after a meeting involving Cosas, education authorities and the Young Communist League (YCL) at Lamontville High School.

The meeting follows principal Mduduzi Sithole's decision to withhold last year's matric results for pupils who owed school fees. About 50 students were affected.

"We had to force the principal into a meeting for him to realise that what he was doing was uncalled for," said Cosas's Isaac Luthuli.

"It is not that students did not want to pay school fees. It was their parents who could not afford to pay. Why destroy someone's future because they are poor,"

Luthuli said that on a positive note the pupils will now get a chance to further their studies.

"The fact that they now have an opportunity to further their studies and realise their dreams, is a victory for us.

"Lamontville High was just the beginning. Principals must understand that as much as they are in charge of schools, it does not mean that they have to do illogical things," said Luthuli.

He said they had since established that there are still more than 1000 students with their results stuck in principals' offices, some dating as far back as 1995.

"Clearly, this shows that we have thousands of students who are nothing today because of this behavior by principals. This has to stop here and now.

"We want to warn other principals that such behavior will not be tolerated," said Luthuli.

Bheka Mbuthuma, the YCL's chairman, said they were satisfied around the issue of results, but at the same time concerned that most of the students might not register at tertiary institutions.

"It is unfortunate that the agreement was reached on the last day of registration.

"We will meet with the department of education on Monday to see if they can't extend the dates for registration," Mbuthuma said.

Ntokozo Maphisa, spokesman for the provincial department of education, said: "Everybody in the department is aware of the resolution that a pupil should not be punished for failing to pay school fees because that is an agreement between the school and the parent, not a pupil.

"Whoever fails to adhere to this rule will face disciplinary action," Maphisa said.