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Call for leniency in the marking of matric exams

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“The learners cannot be punished for something that was not created by them.”

File picture: Ayanda Ndamane / African News Agency (ANA)

CAPE TOWN – Education activists have urged the Department of Basic Education examination markers to be more lenient with this year’s Grade 12 pupils.

An education activist who encourages more lenient marking, Hendrick Makaneta, said: “There is no doubt that this year has been the most difficult year in the terrain of education. Learners found themselves stranded especially during the lockdown period where learning and teaching literally came to a standstill.

“It is for this reason that activists within the terrain of education call on the department to do the right thing by being lenient to our learners in matric as they mark their scripts.

“We cannot expect to function normally under abnormal conditions of Covid-19. The learners cannot be punished for something that was not created by them.”

He added the Grade 12 papers were set long before the emergence of Covid-19, therefore there was a need for those in the education field to adjust accordingly.

Ex-matric marker and Mitchells Plain High principal Faiq Salie, however, disagreed: “I don’t think that marking more leniently is the answer. As an ex-matric marker I am aware that the marking process is quite lenient already. I think that a true reflection will help us more with understanding the impact of Covid-19 and how to best move forward into 2021.”

He said marking more leniently would not send the right message to pupils as it could make them think mediocrity is okay in light of whatever challenges they may face.

“Learners in disadvantaged schools are facing some kind of challenge every day, so learning to cope and be resilient should be a skill that we teach at school.

“I think universities could look at induction strategies for students who have achieved decent results to accommodate them for the courses which they registered.”