“We cannot play around with children’s emotions like that. It’s unacceptable to put a pupil through such an emotional roller-coaster ride”
A KURUMAN schoolgirl, who started the academic year as a matric pupil, is believed to be on the verge of committing suicide after she was demoted to Grade 11.
According to the pupil’s report, received at the end of last year, she was required to repeat Grade 11 this year.
“She was at peace with the decision,” her aunt said yesterday. “However, when she arrived at her school, Remmogo High School, last month, she was informed that the school had made a mistake with her 2019 results and she had been promoted to Grade 12.”
After spending the first two weeks of the term as a matric pupil, she was told at the end of January that she had not, in fact, passed and she had to return to the Grade 11 class as there had been an error.
Her family said that they were sent from pillar to post in their attempts to get answers about the confusion.
According to her aunt, the pupil has been left “broken” and can’t face the world.
“She has changed completely from the confident and bubbly person she used to be, to becoming totally withdrawn. We are even afraid of leaving her on her own out of fear for the worst,” said the aunt.
She said that the school had “messed” with the pupil’s emotions.
“When she returned from school on the first day she was over the moon that she had passed and accepted that the school had made an error. She received her books and has been working extra hard as she does not want to disappoint the family. Then she received the bad news that she had to return to the Grade 11 class and she was in tears and broken.
“Whoever is responsible for messing with our child’s emotions must be held accountable,” said the aunt.
The family only got answers yesterday after DA John Taolo Gaetsewe District Municipality Councillor Koketso Paul intervened and accompanied the family to the school to demand an explanation.
The DA’s head of the Kalahari region, Willie Aucamp, expressed his disappointment with the situation.
“We cannot play around with children’s emotions like that. It’s unacceptable to put a pupil through such an emotional roller-coaster ride,” said Aucamp.
He stated that the Northern Cape Department of Education and the school needed to apologise and to assist the pupil with counselling.
“We believe that the pupil is on the verge of committing suicide. The department needs to get its administration in order so that it does not make mistakes like these as they can have severe consequences.”
The Northern Cape Department of Education yesterday confirmed the incident and stated that the pupil had indeed failed Grade 11. It said that the school had met with the family to explain the error.
Department spokesperson Lehuma Ntuane said the matter was picked up during the compilation of the annual snap survey, which is done 10 days after the opening of schools.
“The deputy principal met with the parents to explain the error and this matter was considered closed,” said Ntuane.
Ntuane added that the department had appointed a psychologist to provide counselling to both the pupil and her parents.
“We apologise for the error that occurred in the compilation of the list of the 2020 Grade 12 pupils by the school. The school management team has been cautioned to pay attention to details of such matters in the future,” concluded Ntuane.