News agency, Cape Town, South Africa
Monday July 22nd 2019

Pupils’ fate hangs in their parents’ hands

Sandiso Phaliso

The parents of hundreds of grade 11 and 12 pupils at a Khayelitsha school can choose whether their children are allowed to pass, or whether they fail and repeat last year’s grades.

This is because the 211 pupils at Matthew Goniwe High, who were in grade 10 and 11 last year, were given false reports which showed that they passed their exams – even though they actually failed.

In March it was reported how the pupils had fraudulently moved up a grade.

The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) investigated the matter, resulting in the headmaster, Lulama Mabuyisa, being sacked.

Last month the School Governing Body (SGB) and parents decided to let the pupils remain in their current grades and receive special afternoon classes provided by the WCED and the school.

But now the WCED, in a meeting last Thursday (Thurs 9 April), told parents they could decide whether or not their children could stay in their grades or repeat the previous year, although the department urged parents to tell their children to repeat the grade they were in last year.

About the ongoing investigation, WCED acting head of education Sindi Ligela said they were finding out who else at the school was responsible for issuing the false reports.

“The department will deal harshly with those responsible… We are satisfied that we have evidence of dereliction of duty,” she said.

She said the false reports were initially uncovered after the department received an unusualyl large number of applications for grade changes at the school on 2 March this year.

Investigation showed that results recorded in learners’ files kept by the school and provided to the department did not match reports given to certain learners.

The records of 276 learners at the school did not match up. This included 211 grade 10 and 11 pupils who had actually failed but were promoted to the next grade.

127 pupils progressed to Grade 11 and 84 to Grade 12.

The results of the other 65 pupils showed that they passed but their marks had been inflated.

Ligela said normally the pupils would be forced to return to their previous grades, but because the false reports were not their fault, their parents were given the option of letting them continue in their new grades.

She said the department would continue providing special support to the school to enable the learners to catch up, regardless of whether they returned to their old grades or not. – West Cape News

Tags: MatthewGoniweHigh

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