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No special treatment for Limpopo or Northern Cape, says Umalusi

CEO of the council for quality assurance Mafu Rakometsi addressed the media together with senior manager of quality assurance of assessment Vijayen Naidoo and chief operating officer Eugenie Rabe in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

"The grade 12 learners in Limpopo were not affected by the textbook issues in Limpopo. Furthermore, a learner will get what he deserves. If a learner in KwaZulu-Natal did not attend school for four months, and a learner in the Northern Cape did not attend school for four months, we will not single them out," said Rakometsi.

In May, the North Gauteng High Court ordered the Limpopo department of education to deliver textbooks to schools by June 15. Some schools have reported still not having received textbooks after this deadline. The court is currently hearing another case brought against the department for failing to comply with the deadline in June.

Communities in the Northern Cape, fed up with the lack of service delivery, have forced learners not to attend school. Almost 16 000 learners have been absent from school for the past four months in an attempt, says the community, to have their pleas for better service delivery heard.

Umalusi is responsible for the certification of qualifications in schools, further education and training colleges, and adult learning centres.

The council discussed its plan for this year's quality assessment of the matric results, saying their focus was on quality assessment and monitoring on a national and not provincial level.

Proactive role
The organisation said it was taking a more proactive role in the internal assessment in schools. This means tasks given to learners during the year by teachers will be monitored and assessed by Umalusi.

Although the council was happy with the outcome of the internal assessment, Naidoo said the council did note some concerns.

"The provincial moderation system is still largely compliance/audit focused. There is a lack of training of teachers in implementing tasks at schools which even extends to an administration level, and there is limited or no feedback given to learners about the learning system."

The council said learners in Limpopo and the Northern Cape will not be specially considered under the quality assessment and monitoring of examination papers and examination results at the end of this year.

Chairperson of NGO Equal Education Yoliswa Dwane agreed that matric learners in Limpopo and the Northern Cape should not be given alternative examination papers.

"This would mean that we will be unable to assess the quality of their knowledge and we will have more difficulty with a way forward.

"What needs to happen is a catch-up plan must be implemented before the matric examinations, and it needs to be done effectively. If that does not succeed, then we feel the matric examination date for these learners must be extended so that they can have an opportunity to catch up with their work."

Dwane said the reality was government was "unresponsive and our schools cannot even keep up with the basic curriculums even when there is no crisis".

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