Education Ministers Still Concerned About Matric Exam Credibility

The provincial Education Ministers have accepted the decision of the High Court that the two matric exam papers will not be rewritten. However they are still concerned about the credibility of the matric exams and want further guidance from the courts.


The Gauteng North High Court Judge, Norman Davis ruled that the matric pupils would not be required to rewrite the Mathematics Paper 2 and Physical Sciences Paper 2 exams that were leaked in November. 

In a statement released on Saturday after the ruling, the CEM  agreed that the matric Class of 2020 had already been facing a lot of challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and that it would be unfair to subject them to more uncertainties, such as those of the matric rewrite. 

The council has however noted many aspects in the judgement that were not addressed and they plan to challenge this. The CEM consulted with lawyers and decided that the court will be approached to correct these aspects identified in the judgement. 

The CEM said the following was not addressed:

"The credibility, integrity and fairness of the 2020 National Senior Certificate (NSC) examination, taking into account the compromise of the 2020 exams, resulting from the leaks of Mathematics Paper 2 and Physical Sciences Paper 2."

The council states that "some of the findings of the court are discordant with applicable basic education legislative provisions and some findings were made against the Department on issues that were not even raised in the court papers."

The CEM also expressed concern over the "tone and language" of Judge Norman Davis when delivering his ruling on Friday. 

Nonetheless the council decided that no rewrite would take place but directed the Department of Basic Education to continue its investigation into the leaks of the two exam papers. 

Unions Afriforum and Sadtu were pleased with the courst ruling of no rewrite. 

Afriforum's advisor on education rights, Natasha Venter said they were glad that the exams would be marked and the marks would be made available.

"AfriForum welcomes the court finding and considers it not only as a victory for the almost 400 000 matriculants who would have been disadvantaged by Minister Motshega’s decision, but also as a victory against the Department’s unfair, arbitrary and one-sided decision in this regard.

"We urge the department to now focus on arresting the guilty parties to ensure that the integrity of the exams is beyond reproach,” Venter said.

The Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga wished the matriculants well and said that the learners, teachers and parents should find comfort in the fact that no rewrite will be taking place. 

“The Class of 2020, their teachers and their parents should take solace in CEM’s decision that the Mathematics Paper 2 and Physical Science Paper 2 will not be rewritten on 15 and 17 December 2020. 

“Enjoy your Christmas and New Year’s break; rest and recharge for 2021; but you must observe all COVID-19 health, safety and social distancing protocols at all times,” -Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga 






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