Constitutional Court Rules Matric's Rights Were Violated By Principal

The Constitutional Court has ruled that a limpopo matric's right to write one of his final exams has been violated by the acting school principal, after he was refused entry into an examination venue. 

On Monday the Constitutional Court ruled that the acting school principal of Malusi Secondary School in Limpopo, violated a matric pupil's right to basic education by refusing to let him write one of his final examinations.

The matric pupil, Johannes Moko was set to write his Business Studies Paper 2 final exam on 25 November however the acting school principal, Tlou Mokgonyana forbid Moko from entering the school to sit for this exam. The principal did this because Moko missed a few extra lessons. 

According to the court papers, Moko was told to return to school with a parent or guardian but he did not find either at home and when he returned to school the exam was already underway and he was still refused entry into the examination venue. 

After the Limpopo Department of Education held several meetings with the acting school principal, Moko was told that he could write the paper in May 2021, when supplementary exams would be held. 

Moko was not satisfied with this decision so he approached the High Court in Limpopo but the matter was struck off the urgent roll of call of the court and this prompted Moko to approach the Constitutional Court. 

"I cannot conceive of how the High Court could not have found the matter to be urgent." said Justice Sisi Khampepe's ruling. 

Moko felt that if he wrote the exam so late that it would interfere with his plans to enrol at a higher education institution in February 2021 and he wanted the court to rule that he should write the paper before the others were marked and the results were released. 

The Constitutional Court ordered the Limpopo Department of Education and Umalusi, who were respondents in the matter to allow Moko to write the Business Studies Paper 2 exam in January 2021. Neither respondent was opposed to this application. Moko's results from the paper will be included with all the other results when they are released next year in February 2021. 

“Conduct by educators like that seen in this case is completely unacceptable. I hope occurrences like these are rare and that most, if not all, our matric pupils, felt supported by their school principal and teachers during the examination period,” said Khampepe.


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