‘Middle-class learners have more privileges’.
THE Congress of South African Students (COSAS) in Limpopo has lashed out at the Independent Examinations Board (IEB) over its failure to close the gap between the poor and middle-class schools.
The student organization said that it was concerned about the continuous privileges middle-class learners have against poor pupils as their matric results are published a week prior to the official date.
COSAS provincial secretary Phineas Sebola said that they have noticed an unfair advantage in which independent school pupils are able to register at tertiary institutions whilst majority of pupils await their results.
“Our view as COSAS is that pupils are being segregated in terms of their financial background because those who are able to obtain their matric results beforehand are actually children of the wealthy.
“They are able to apply for late applications at universities whilst majority of the poor learners are still waiting for the results.
“It cannot be acceptable that in this day and age government continues to allow segregation in schools,” Sebola said.
He said that they were not satisfied with the current IEB system as it continues to demoralize matric pupils’ enthusiasm over enrolling in tertiary institutions.
“Pupils are now forced to take involuntary gap years because they have been side-lined by the system.
“This is one of the issues that causes a number of learners to commit suicide because they feel as if they are failures in life because they cannot get admissions,” said Seloba.
He also emphasized that the organization is yet to raise the matter with the Department of Basic Education in order to find solutions and improve the quality of education within the province.
In response to the organization’s criticism, Department of Education spokesperson in Limpopo Sam Makondo said: “The issues they are raising are being handled at a national level.
“What we do as the provincial department is to facilitate measures made by national department because they are responsible for issuing results and certificates.”
Makondo said they were also happy with the results of matric pupils from the 2017 academic year as it had showed an improvement.
“We are happy that the province has managed to perform in the manner that it did. Our districts such as Waterberg, Mopani, Sekhukhune and Vhembe have improved and the only one that has declined is Capricorn. So, that shows that we are on the right track in terms of facilitating quality education in the province,” said Makondo.
Cosas’ concern has come a little too late as a number of universities have announced that they would not be allowing walk-ins for registrations – amongst them are the University of South Africa along with the University of Witwatersrand.