Grade 12s let down again

THE failure by the Mpumalanga education department, the MEC and Umalusi to act timeously and appropriately to salvage the credibility of the 2009 Grade 12 exams have left thousands of pupils educationally stranded.

THE failure by the Mpumalanga education department, the MEC and Umalusi to act timeously and appropriately to salvage the credibility of the 2009 Grade 12 exams have left thousands of pupils educationally stranded.

The DA is deeply saddened, yet outraged and disappointed, at the announcement that the results for Mpumalanga pupils will not be released as scheduled today.

According to reports Umalusi has been unable to validate the results after reports relating to the leaked exam papers.

Clearly the extent and impact of the leaked papers were previously unknown and seriously underestimated. Widespread irregularities must have been detected to cause Umalusi not to verify the results.

Umalusi also stated that the d epartment is unable to conduct credible, fair Grade 12 exam s - a fact previously stated by the DA. This assertion indicates the severe incompetence that is driving education in the province into disrepair. It is pathetic that Mpumalanga has for the second consecutive year bungled.

It goes beyond comprehension that the crisis was not detected earlier. It is clear that gross negligence on the part of the MEC, senior education officials, premier and Umalusi has caused thousands of pupils this disservice.

Matters are spiralling out of control with no one held accountable to date. The MEC and implicated officials must immediately be removed from office. This crisis also raises serious questions about the ability of Premier DD Mabuza's fitness to run the provincial administration.

I will request the assistance of my parliamentary counterparts to put pressure on the national education minister to facilitate the invoking of Section 100 of the Constitution , which provides for the national executive to intervene in the obligations of a province.

Anthony Benadie MPL, Mpumalanga

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