A major decision has been made by the Department of Education with regards to struggling matric students. Last week the Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, announced that the Department will be phasing out the multiple examination opportunity (MEO) from next year (2020).
This is done to prevent schools from exercising gatekeeping, she explained.
The MEO came into effect in 2017, and it was designed to assist students who were struggling during the year to write their exams over a two-year period. The phasing out means that all students will have to sit in for the end of the year exams, and no student will be modularised.
The decision was taken following a meeting of the Council of Education Ministers (CEM) last month.
“Education provision is in the public eye and gets a lot of critique. One of the concerns we have heard from the public is around the multiple examinations opportunity,” said Motshegka.
According to IOL News, the Minister said that the Department is phasing out the policy because it has been abused by schools, as they prevent struggling students from writing for fear they might fail and drag down the school’s matric pass rate.
“Instead of assisting vulnerable pupils to get a matric certificate, it was allowing schools to cull pupils through this process and not adequately support them, for this reason CEM took a bold decision to protect pupils and do away with the MEO from next year,” added the Minister.
IOL News also revealed that the National Teachers Union president, Allen Thompson, was pleased with the decision, as he viewed it as a waste of teacher’s time to teach 80 students and ending up having 30 students sitting for the final exams.
“This will end ill discipline among pupils. Those who knew they would not write were disruptive and did not attend classes. Now they will be more focused and disciplined because they will write at the end of the year,” added Thompson.