| KING WILLIAM'S TOWN

Still waiting for 2014 matric results

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Students camp outside Eastern Cape education department

Photo of students protesting
Students from Ngqeleni District protest out the Eastern Cape education department demanding their matric certificates. Photo: Nombulelo Damba-Hendrik
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About 60 students of the class of 2014 from high schools in Libode, Ngqeleni and Port St Johns travelled 260km to King William’s Town to demand their certificates. They arrived at 4pm on Tuesday.

Outside the offices of the Department of Education they demanded their matric certificates. After dividing themselves into groups, the first group, led by Equal Education representatives, held a two hour meeting with the department’s customer care officer, Khaya Nakani.

However, he could not assist them. He said his department did not deal with grade 12 certificates.

The students say they wrote their final exams in 2014, but before their results were released, they were informed that about 19 exams centres in the district were suspected of copying. Cheating was suspected in accounting, maths, history and geography exams.

Students suspected of copying were given a chance to write supplementary exams, while the department investigated.

Seven of the accused schools refused and took the matter to court.

The students say they have still not received their results, and say they were given no satisfactory explanation.

Acting head of the department Nontsikelelo Netshilaphala said, “There is proof that these students were involved in the copying during exams and we told them that they must sign an admission of guilt form in order for them to get their results … Those who did not write the supplementary exams, can [still] write.”

Netshilaphala said teachers suspected of involvement in the cheating had been doing everything in their power to prevent the department speaking to the students.

“We will continue holding the results until they sign,” she said.

But the students say no one had told them about the admission of guilt form.

One student, Masithembe Mfatu of Gxaba Senior Secondary School, said they were never informed that they’d been found guilty. He said they were told to write supplementary exams while the department was busy investigating the matter and had agreed.

But, “instead of giving us our results, they kept quiet. We waited the whole of 2015 thinking that we will get our results, but nothing. No explanation, nothing,” said Mfatu.

He said without his grade 12 results he could not proceed to Walter Sisulu University.

“I should be doing my second year now at the university, but I’m sitting at home doing nothing,” he said. “We just want our matric certificates and we are not going anywhere until we get them.”

“How long does it take for them to investigate the case?” asked another student, who identified herself only as Nosisi. “Last year they told us that they are investigating the case; again this year no results and no explanation. Maybe by sleeping here, the department will start listening to us.”

The group sang songs and stayed all night outside the offices. They wanted to see Eastern Cape MEC for Education Mandla Makhuphula.

Equal Education’s Sibongiseni Magqaza said it was a simple mattter. The students just wanted their results.

“Some of these students are supposed to be in university by now; some were going to use their certificates to look for a job. All are on hold because the Department of Education is holding the results.”

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TOPICS:  Education

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Letters

Dear Editor

As a student who was doing matric at Zinqobele on 2014 I am not happy that we have not received our result even now. We are stuck because we don't have anything in our hands to continue with our lives. The Department of Education do this to us because we are black. I am sure they will never ever do this to white students.

Give us our results!