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EDITORIAL | Department gets 0% for handling of access to matric ...


EDITORIAL | Department gets 0% for handling of access to matric results

Decision to not publish matric results in newspapers was not thought through and the alternatives are inadequate


In four days’ time, more than 730,000 matriculants are set to receive their final exam results. But thanks to the department of basic education, there is little clarity on where matrics will be able to access their marks if they are not near their schools on Friday. 

The confusion started early last week when the department surprised the media, teachers, matriculants and their families by announcing that the results of the most important results of pupils’ school careers would not be published online or in newspapers. This, the department argued, was because of the Protection of Personal Information Act (Popia). “To comply with the provisions of the Popia, the usual practice of publishing the National Senior Certificate (NSC) results on public platforms (media platforms) will not occur for 2021,” the department said in a notice to media houses (https://www.news24.com/news24/southafrica/news/just-in-matric-exam-results-wont-be-published-on-public-platforms-in-media-education-dept-20220111). “As was also the practice in previous years, all learners will be required to obtain their statement of results from the schools they attended. In this way every learner’s personal information with regards to the outcome of their National Senior Certificate exam will be protected.”

It has since realised this is not the most practical arrangement. This would have meant that if a matriculant were not near his or her school this coming Friday, they would not be able to access their marks. It is surprising this detail did not occur to the powers that be when the statement was issued. The SA National Editors Forum (Sanef) (https://www.businesslive.co.za/bd/national/2022-01-15-sanef-surprised-and-disappointed-by-decision-not-to-publish-matric-results/) described the lack of consultation ahead of the announcement as “unfortunate”. AfriForum, Maroela Media and a matriculant are heading to court on Tuesday to oppose the decision. ..

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