Sadtu slams marking

THE South African Democratic Teachers Union leadership in KwaZulu-Natal are hoping to have talks with President Jacob Zuma next month when he meets school principals.

They will discuss, among other issues, the union and the teachers' unhappiness about the "outdated" marking system designed by the apartheid government.

Sadtu provincial secretary Mbuyiseni Mathonsi says the marking system is a major barrier in that it requires matric examination markers to stick to the answers in the memorandum.

The union is planning to host a "marking indaba" to discuss the existing system, its guidelines and its impact on the matric results.

Mathonsi describes the marking system as marking the language, which in most cases is English, rather than the correct answer.

"As the biggest union and an important stakeholder in education in the province, we are hoping to also get an opportunity to speak to the president about such things on August 7," he said.

Mathonsi said if such problems were not addressed the province would continue to produce unsatisfactory results.

"The current marking system is old and needs to be updated and improved," he said.

The union has already approached the provincial department of education to discuss the matter.

Meanwhile, Sadtu is also blaming provincial department of education superintendent-general Cassius Lubisi for the decline in the matric pass rate since he took over in 2003.

Mathonsi says the matric exam pass rate dropped dramatically over the years from 74percent when Lubisi joined the department to 57percent last year.

"Lubisi should do the honourable thing and resign before he takes the matric pass rate all the way to 37percent very soon," said Mathonsi.

Lubisi could not be reached for comment yesterday as his phone was not answered.