Matric pupil wins fight over promotion

THE Krugersdorp A-pupil who took the Gauteng department of education to court to be promoted to Grade 12 without writing his Grade 11 exams has won his battle, his lawyer said yesterday.

THE Krugersdorp A-pupil who took the Gauteng department of education to court to be promoted to Grade 12 without writing his Grade 11 exams has won his battle, his lawyer said yesterday.

The Johannesburg high court would now be asked to make the department's decision an order of the court, said Lynette Steyn, who represented Hoërskool Noordheuwel pupil Edwin Botha, 18.

Edwin still had to learn whether he would retain his position as deputy headboy at the school in Krugersdorp, Steyn said.

Edwin dropped out of school in October before writing his Grade 11 exams, claiming he had been traumatised by an initiation ceremony for newly elected prefects. The school called the ceremony a team-building exercise.

In its decision, the department found that the best interests of the child should have been adhered to in deciding whether he be promoted to Grade 12.

Edwin's general anxiety disorder caused by the ceremony should have been taken into account.

The education department had accepted a psychological report on Edwin as a valid medical certificate and as a valid reason for his absence from his exams, department spokesman Charles Phahlane said.

The department had also taken into account Edwin's marks in Grade 11 before he dropped out.

It had decided to promote him without further delay.

Edwin had intended to change schools after he dropped out, but had a change of heart and had asked in December if he could return to his old school.

His parents, Hugo and Zenda Botha, reached an agreement with school principal Jac Fourie, who gave a written undertaking that Edwin would be promoted to Grade 12 on his return because of his excellent academic record. - Sapa

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