Dr Allen Grootboom, MPL
DA Northern Cape: Provincial Spokesperson of Education
It is a known fact that the class of 2012 in the Northern Cape has been seriously compromised. All eyes will be on the final results with one question in mind, namely how will they fair?
The Northern Cape Department of Education is trying to match the challenge by organizing camps where learners from the John Taole Gaetsewe district, who lost months of schooling, are allowed to work, trying desperately to make up for lost time. What is not taken into consideration, however, are tests, exam marks and projects. Trying to do a year’s work in four months is just not a workable option. What then is the NCDOE going to do?
The best option would be to register the learners of the two affected regions for the supplementary exams in March 2013. This will give the learners ample time to prepare for these exams. They are at best ill prepared for the examinations of September. This will put less pressure on both the learners and educators on the one hand and the DOE on the other. The ultimate is that quality is not compromised and our results are not questioned.
The learners will lose one year of schooling. On the one hand, this will rest squarely on the shoulders of politicians who failed to intervene when requested to do so. On the other hand, it will lie with the community who allowed a few renegade cadres to control them. During the struggle years against apartheid, children’s schooling was also compromised in such a way. It’s a sad day indeed and a heritage that will forever eat away at the conscience of the parents who were afraid to stand up for the rights of their children.