The perilous practice of publishing results

TheTeacher asked a number of grade 12 learners and their teachers whether the names of people who have passed their matric exams should be published in the newspapers. Here is a representative sample of their views.

Kay Pillay
School principal, Rylands High School

When learners perform well, no matter at which school, one way of acknowledging their excellent results is to publish their names. We need to expose them via the media. We want to inspire and motivate other learners. If someone else can do it, then they can also achieve excellence.

Insaaf Peters
Maths teacher, Rylands High School

It’s not a good idea to publish their names. There is already so much pressure on learners with the amount of work that they have to do. Knowing that their names will be in the newspaper puts unwarranted pressure on them. The results should be sent to the school and only the learner should receive them. What is the point of publishing names? That’s not what the
education process is about.

Percival Manonge
Rylands High School

It’s not good to have our names in the newspapers. If students fail, other students will laugh at them. They should only publish student numbers. People don’t have to see our names. I would be embarrassed if I failed and everyone knew about it.

Gadeejah Karriem
Rylands High School

It is not a bad idea to publish names. You feel happy and extraordinary if you pass and your name is in the paper. It is something to be proud of. It also makes a name for the school. But there should be a “plan B” because many people don’t want their names in the newspaper. It would be good to publish student numbers, not names.

Candace Quinn
Queens High School

It is a good idea because it is a motivation for people who are not doing well to pull up their socks. To me, it is like saying thank you to my parents for the investment they have made in me and my education. If a person has failed it should not be the end of the line. They should know that there is always a second chance in life.

Emmanuel Kasende
Queens High School

It is a bad idea. It is a private issue. If you do well, it is inspiring. But if you don’t, your perspective, attitude and mood changes. And the outcome can be fatal, particularly in cases in which some names are omitted or learners are judged to have failed when they have not. I think the idea should be dropped.

Nthabiseng Hlatshwayo
English teacher, Queens High School

It is good to publish the results because it motivates learners. I still have the newspaper clip of my results after I wrote grade 12 and I show it to my kids to inspire them to work hard. It is not meant to degrade or embarrass learners who have failed, but to inspire and encourage them. I think most learners would want their names published. Not doing so defeats the purpose of motivation.

Allan Neumann
Counsellor, life orientation and head of sport, Queens High School

It should be confidential. A lot of learners don’t want their results spread across the country. We live in an age of technology in which virtually everyone can easily check their results either via their mobile phone or on the internet. Writing exams creates anxiety for learners and when the results are out that anxiety gets even more intense as friends and close family members phone the already troubled learner.

Thabo Mohlala

Thabo Mohlala

Thabo reports for the Teacher newspaper, a Mail & Guardian monthly publication. Apart from covering education stories, he also writes across other beats. He enjoys reading and is an avid soccer and athletics fanatic. Thabo harbours a dream of writing a book.
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