'system failed 35 000 matrics'
The Congress of SA Students in KwaZulu-Natal has warned that the 35 000 candidates due to write supplementary exams which start today are unlikely to improve the province's pass rate.
Provincial spokesman S'bonelo Shezi yesterday said matric supplementary exams candidates were not provided with revision classes to prepare them.
He says this is despite the pupils being the first to sit for the National Curriculum Statement.
He also claims some candidates are still to receive their results and could therefore not registering for the supplementary exams.
In the province, 35000 pupils will sit for the exams while the national figure is 144000.
The exams will finish on March 25.
Shezi said the pupils were "left out in the cold and were not offered classes" to prepare them despite Education Minister Naledi Pandor's promise that they would be assisted with Saturday classes.
"We held an urgent meeting with provincial department of education officials at the weekend asking for the postponement of the supplementary exams.
"But our attempts were unsuccessful," he said.
Shezi said their offices were inundated with calls last week from worried pupils who said they could not register for the supplementary examinations because they received incomplete results.
"Many students have still not received their results. We received reports last week from pupils saying they are still with incomplete results," said Shezi.
He said those without results came from the Ilembe and Ugu districts.
"We are not enthusiastic about these exams and we believe that they will not bring any major improvement.
"We were shocked that some pupils were approaching us wanting to know when they are going to write [their exams] because their schools also did not know," said Shezi.
National Education Department spokesman Lunga Nqengelele said the onus was on the provinces to arrange Saturday classes to assist affected pupils.
"This depends strictly on their budgets," he added.
The provincial department of education spokesman Mbali Thusi said no plans were in place for preparatory classes.
She said all systems were in place for the supplementary exams to begin today.
"All results were released in time before the supplementary registration deadline and candidates were given enough time to register.
"Candidates for this exam should have used previous papers and study materials found in the media to revise," she added.