Minister, MECs discuss report on matric results delays

Wednesday, February 25, 2009
By: 
Gabi Khumalo

Johannesburg - The report on the investigation into the delay in releasing the 2008 matric results came under the spotlight at the Council of Education Ministers meeting held between Education Minister Naledi Pandor and provincial MECs recently.

The report found that a variety of factors had contributed to the delays, including incompetence or neglect of duty in some cases as well as systemic problems at a national level.

Some of them were related to the new computer system being used, however, most were as a result of a tightening of the system and a lack of compliance with the new requirements.

The Integrated Examinations Computerised System (IECS), developed by the department to capture learner marks and results, was used for the first time during the 2008 Grade 12 examinations.

The report has been referred to the Committee of Heads of Education (HEDCOM) to take the necessary follow-up action. It will be provided to the Office of the Public Protector and to the Human Rights Commission who have been interested in initiating their own investigations into the matter.

In a statement, the council said the concerns identified in the report would be addressed before the 2009 matric examinations.

"The council is confident that this situation will not be repeated.

"The department has apologised to all candidates whose results were delayed, and has appealed to anyone who feels they have been unduly prejudiced to contact the department to see if any redress can be provided," said the statement.

Meanwhile, over 123 000 learners have written their supplementary examinations which started on 17 February. The council said the exams were progressing well and the final results of the class of 2008 will be released soon.

As many as 700 pupils who sat for the 2008 matric exams did not receive their results on 30 December 2008 along with the rest of the learners.

A total of 56 810 candidates had incomplete results due to outstanding internal marks, oral or practical requirements or pending irregularity investigations - 9000 learners who did not receive their results were from Mpumalanga.

The council also discussed the issuing of textbooks at its meeting and the provinces were congratulated on the significant improvement in the delivery of learning and teaching material for the 2009 school year.

Regarding the provision of meals for secondary school learners, the council noted that funds have been made available to expand the National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP) to quintile 1 secondary schools as from April 2009.

Departmental officials have visited provinces to assess the state of readiness to initiate this, and to finalise plans for the implementation of this programme.

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