204 Grade 12 pupils to miss examinations

Tebogo Monama

Tebogo Monama

When pupils around the country sit down for their final matric examinations, 204 candidates of an Orange Farm, Vaal, school will not.

Only 56 of the pupils at Siyaphambili Secondary School (an independent school) will write exams.

The 56 are classified as candidate A's and the 204 are classified as candidate B's. Candidate B's will only write Adult Based Education exams in June.

Teachers and pupils claim the school's director, Michael Mabaso, registered the pupils to get government subsidies and then de-registered them. The subsidy is R7000.

The pupils also allegedly paid R400 in school fees.

Mabaso allegedly told the Gauteng education department that the enrolment of Grade 12 pupils for 2008 was 183.

He said that only 56 pupils had complied with the School Based Assessment requirements, meaning that they have portfolios - something teachers at the school dispute.

Mabaso claimed that 17 pupils had dropped out and 120 had been inconsistent in attending classes but were still part of the school and had agreed to write exams at an ABET centre in May-June 2009.

Nanagolo Leopeng, a department of education spokesman, said: "The failure of any school to implement the SBA requirement is illegal.

"But schools can register pupils as part-timers. In that case learners are required to comply with the SBA policy. The department will investigate the matter.

"When the department becomes aware that an independent school has artificially manipulated pupils' admission to the Grade 12 examination with the intention of increasing the school's pass rate, we investigate the allegation. If the school is found guilty the subsidy is withdrawn immediately."

By yesterday the department was still waiting for a report on the issue. The South African Independent Schools Teachers Association's Jankie Makala said they were also investigating the matter.