GARDEN ROUTE NEWS - The announcement that matric learners will have to rewrite mathematics paper 2 and physical science paper 2 after they had been leaked, elicited nationwide reaction.
Not only did it come as a shock to many Grade 12 learners who have already put it behind them, but teacher's unions in general feel the decision is an overreaction.
George Herald spoke to some matriculants who say it is unfair to those who have already given their best, but others welcome a second chance to improve their results.
After the leaks became known, an investigation was launched by the National Investigation Task Team (NITT) and Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga announced the rewrite on 4 December.
"Some of the key findings are that the viral spread of information on the cyber networks made it virtually impossible to accurately identify the number of learners that have had access to the leaked question papers," she said, but added that it was clear the people responsible for the leaked papers were adults.
However, in a press release on the same day, Naptosa executive director Basil Manuel said because of the ambiguity of the finding, it was merely an assumption that the leak was widespread.
"Naptosa believe that the decision is an overreaction. The term 'viral', used by the Investigation Task Team, conjures up the belief that the papers were splashed all over social media. But we have not seen evidence that this was the case," he said.
Motshekga said they consulted key stakeholders on the matter; from school governing body associations, school principals association and teacher unions to the quality assurance agency, Umalusi.
"There was convergence on the need to protect the integrity of the examination and to expose the culprits who place the lives of our learners at risk." The mathematics paper will be written on Tuesday 15 December at 14:00, and the physical sciences paper 2 will be written on Thursday 17 December at 09:00.
Manuel admitted that Naptosa was consulted, but said the Minister failed to report that Naptosa registered its concern.
"We would have been comfortable with rewrites being ordered in those schools where the Investigation Task Team had definite evidence that pupils had been in possession of the papers. But to place additional pressure on the thousands of matriculants who had nothing to do with the leaked papers, in a year they had to endure so many obstacles and hardships, is just indefensible."
Appeal for understanding
The Head of Department at the Western Cape Education Department, Brian Schreuder, said they understand that this will cause disappointment and will impact on the plans of candidates, but appealed for understanding.
"These are exceptional circumstances and are ultimately in the interest of fairness and the credibility of these examinations."
Schreuder said they are proud of the matriculants who have shown such resilience this year. "I wish them the best for the examinations."
'We bring you the latest Garden Route, Hessequa, Karoo news'