Limpopo exams in turmoil

By Jacques Smalle DA Limpopo Leader, DA Spokesperson for Education:

Hardly a week since the commencement of basics education examination, Limpopo province is yet again marred in controversy and chaos compounding the poor state of affairs that continue to haunt the department.

To date, almost 60% of Limpopo schools had to postpone their exams writing sessions of grade 10 and 11. Unfortunately it is schools that are categorized as quintile 1 to 3 which have been impacted the most, as many cannot afford to print their own exam papers.

The DA learnt the Limpopo department had failed to provide financial and operational assistance to various schools and circuits.

Even worse, the department outsourced the printing of exam papers to businesses without following the necessary proper financial prescripts and vetting procedures, clearly jeopardizing the credibility of the final examination.

Just last week, the MEC of education Ishmael Kgetjepe admitted in the Legislature that English exams were postponed due to circuit’s inability to print exam papers and that the issue would be dealt with swiftly. However, four more exam sessions were subsequently postponed.

This is created immense uncertainty among learners and teachers.

The MEC failed to solve the current chaos and has only added to the woes of the departments in professional behaviour and lack of accountability.

The DA is calling on the MEC to plan for and implement a new timetable as a matter of urgency. Thus, eliminating any possible disruptions to schools and more importantly protecting the credibility of exams.

Poor management is at the crux of many of the department’s failures.

The DA will also call on the Premier to resolve the funding model which has led to the current deficit in Norms and Standards for schools across the province.

We further urge the Premier to hold the MEC of Education as well as the examinations division accountable for the departments’ inability to effectively and efficiently run the current exams.