Allen Grootboom MPL
DA Northern Cape Education spokesperson
The Democratic Alliance has called for an urgent meeting of Northern Cape legislators to discuss the no-show of around half of Olifantshoek matrics for yesterday’s exam.
In a letter to the Education committee chair this morning, the DA questioned why the Department had gone ahead with exams in Olifantshoek when the chances of failure were still too high.
The option was available to the Department to delay the exams for these learners, who were held ransom by protests over the last few months.
The stay-away suggests that the Department rushed into these exams without assurances from parents and learners that they are able to meet this challenge under the abnormal circumstances in that town.
Acting Premier and Education MEC, Grizelda Cjiekella, needs to urgently explain to the Education committee how the Department will resolve the crisis in that town and surrounding areas.
If half the learners did not arrive for the first exam, it is likely they won’t write the rest of the exams either. This could influence those learners who did write yesterday to stay away from exams as well.
This is a big risk given that, in an economically depressed region like John Taole Gaetsewe, learners often get only a handful of chances at success in life.
The Olifantshoek situation remains delicate and requires ethical leadership from the Education Department.
We want to hear concrete plans from them immediately on how they are going to give these learners the best possible chance of success.