Nerves are at an all time high for the current crop of Matric students ahead of the scheduled release of their National Senior Certificate (NSC) results, during the early part of next week. The release will be somewhat different this year, with the Department of Basic Education resolving not to publish the names of candidates in the country’s major newspapers, only their exam numbers.
A total of 560 000 full time candidates were registered for the NSC exams through the department in 2014, with a further 138 000 writing as part time candidates. The pass rates for the year will be announced on Monday the 5th January by Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga, with the results made available to students the following morning. The Western Cape is however scheduled to release their results a day later, on Wednesday the 7th.
Addressing the Western Cape’s delay in results, acting director of communications at the department, Elijah Mhlanga, said the provincial department would likely be seeking to sort out certain logistics prior to the release. And with all other provinces expected to divulge their results on the 6th, the delay would afford the Western Cape sufficient attention to “tell its own story”.
Furthermore, the department would also be zooming in on other statistics apart from the pass rate, including the number of bachelors passes achieved, and whether interventions put in place to improve results were successful.
“We must go beyond the pass rate, and zoom into the details of the results. We must see how we can improve, even on the security systems of the examinations, which allow us to pick up all sorts of things that we do not need in the system,” he said.
Much of the talk in the build up to the results has been the manner in which they will be released. The department has sought to do away with name publications, amidst concerns that it has a negative impact on the mental health of students who fail to make the grade.
However, some schools in the Western Cape have bemoaned the culling of what they consider to be a tradition in the education sector. Some have vowed to forge ahead with the publishing of names independently, by releasing the names of their top performing students for the year. Mhlanga said it would be those schools own prerogative should they wish to go ahead.
“If a school wishes to publish the names of their top achievers, I think they are free to do so. However, national policy remains on this particular matter,” he stated.
Whilst not likely to face any opposition from the department, the schools would have to deal with any repercussions that arose from concerned parents.
“It is clear that the matter will not be dealt with by the department as we have taken a decision which has been announced, that for 2014 we will not be releasing the names of candidates,” he reiterated. VOC (Mubeen Banderker)