Punishing pupils for administrators' mistake is dangerous

This group of matriculants from Emshukantambo Secondary School was told to go back to grade 11 after their results were erroneously adjusted by their school. The writer calls on the department of education to be very careful when dealing with this sensitive matter.
This group of matriculants from Emshukantambo Secondary School was told to go back to grade 11 after their results were erroneously adjusted by their school. The writer calls on the department of education to be very careful when dealing with this sensitive matter.

What a wasted two months of learning for 52 learners at Emshukantambo Secondary School in Soweto who were hoping to complete their schooling careers this year only to be told that they would have to repeat grade 11.

But what is sad about the whole saga is that their promotion to matric was not because of their own making, but it was a blooper by someone at the school.

The provincial department of education confirmed yesterday that the 52 learners were erroneously promoted to grade 12 by the school. The process of promotion was not ratified by the department, we are told.

So, it's a fact that these poor learners didn't cheat their way to grade 12, but the faux pas by the department or school did.

For the district officials to inform the learners and their parents that the pupils' marks were mistakenly adjusted is not only an insult and embarrassment to the affected parties, but dangerous too.

SA has a well-documented history of learners, mainly matriculants, committing suicide after failing to achieve positive results at end of the year.

Therefore, we call on the department to be very careful when dealing with this sensitive matter.

It is good that it has promised to send psychologists to help the affected learners to deal with the situation, but one pupil told us that the exercise will not help anything.

What the department should do next is to retain these innocent learners in grade 12. It's an honourable thing to do; the pupils cannot be blamed for this mess.

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