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Matrics can get results online — but glitches leave many frustrated

Matric pupils have been told they will be able to get their results online but glitches have left many frustrated. File photo.
Matric pupils have been told they will be able to get their results online but glitches have left many frustrated. File photo.
Image: Gallo Images/Die Burger/Jaco Marais

Matric pupils eagerly awaiting their final marks this week have been told they will be able to get them online — but many were left frustrated due to an apparent technical glitch.

Pupils were informed last week that results would not be published online or in newspapers — as has been the case for a number of years — because of a ruling that this would be in contravention of the Protection of Personal Information (POPI) Act. Instead, those wanting their results would have to go to their schools to get their results.

But on Sunday, the department of basic education (DBE) offered a digital lifeline. It tweeted that matrics who wrote the 2021 National Senior Certificate exams last year can receive their “partial results” by registering on its website.

However, many pupils — and their parents who tried to assist — were unable to register. A common complaint, according to Twitter replies and from a parent who spoke to TimesLIVE, was that they received a notification of a failure and “incorrect security code”.

“The class of 2021 has endured so much over the past two years stemming from the disruptions in grade 11 and 12 because of the pandemic. Then they have had to endure the longer than usual wait to get their results — more than two weeks later than results are usually announced. And just this week they learnt at the last minute that the results won't be released as usual in the newspapers.

“Now they are told they can access their results without going to school if they register online only to be met with a technical glitch. These poor kids have been through the most and the department is really not helping them,” one parent said.

A matric pupil was also frustrated with the situation.

“I won't lie, I got very worried, and thought the worst. It's bad enough waiting for them, no matter how you think you did in the papers. But this is enough to make anyone anxious,” he said.

However, department spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga said the system was up and running.

“People are registering in large numbers we have gone over 10,000 people so far. It’s working,” he said.

In a statement on Sunday evening, the department confirmed that an urgent court case over the decision not to publish the results in newspapers or online had been lodged. It had also received a plethora of comments over the decision.

“In handling the matter, the department is guided by the need to comply with all the legal obligations but in the final analysis the constitution commands the DBE to act in the best interest of the learner,” the statement read, adding that it was communicating with various stakeholders over its decision.

But in the meantime, pupils were encouraged to register on the website to get their results once released.

“Candidates will have to go through a two-step verification process before receiving confirmation of their registration. A 13-digit ID number and the examination number will be required for registration. The DBE website is zero-rated, which means it can be accessed whether you have data or not.

“Registration is now open. By lunch today [Sunday], more than 10,000 people had successfully registered.”


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