A Southern suburbs principal has criticized the Department of Basic Education’s decision not to publish the names of matric students in the country’s major newspapers, suggesting the move paved the way for students to accept mediocrity. The department last month resolved that it would only publish the exam and I.D numbers of students, amidst a rise in pre and post result depression amongst matriculants.
But Principal Brian Isaacs of the South Peninsula High School was bullish about the decision, stressing that the publications were a tradition that needed to be upheld. He is planning to defy the department’s warnings, by privately going ahead with the publishing of student names.
With students having undertaken a long and rigorous journey to reach this point, Isaacs said it would be good to celebrate their excellence. Despite concerns over the mental wellbeing of those whose names did not feature, he said students would have been taught about failure during their 12 years of schooling.
“In any sphere of life unfortunately we have people who will go to the extreme. I think by teaching people that when you fail, we teach them that you fail forward not backwards. The majority of students have worked hard and deserve to have their names in the newspaper,” he said.
With the department taking a somewhat hard-line stance against name publications, he questioned where they would seek to draw the line on what was acceptable. This was keeping in mind that for students participating in Maths and Science Olympiads, those who excelled would still have their names published, whilst failing students would be omitted.
“Do you now say that we have a blanket rule where results cannot be published, and that they are a private matter between the student and the family? He questioned, stressing that such a step would not be healthy for education.
The final matric results are expected to be released to students on Tuesday the 6th January. Prior to its release, schools will be afforded a specific time frame in which to inspect the results, to ensure there are no discrepancies. During this time, the school may query any issues with the department. This period will also afford the school the opportunity to contact students who have not made it, to inform them before hand.
“The names are then put up on the notice board. I’m sure the department is not going to give us a results sheet just with the exam numbers. I’m sure they are going to give us the exam numbers as well as the names of students,” he said, further emphasizing his point.
Isaacs was adamant that despite the departments warning against schools that went ahead with the publication, South Peninsula would continue to uphold the tradition.
“It is something you must get over. We can’t be trying to protect excellence or mediocrity all the time,” he added. VOC (Mubeen Banderker)