In the past years the children wrote exams (trial included) up until the last day of the school term. The last two or three papers were marked during the holidays and marks were send/brought to the office during the holiday.
When schools re-opened the schedules were done and the reports handed to the students/parents on the first Friday after schools re-opened.
Not one single school day was unnecessary wasted.
BUT – for the last couple of years. The Limpopo department decided that all learners must be resulted on the last day of the term.
Now the children finish with their exams 9-11 days before the schools close and then they simply stay at home. Principals are pulling their hair out because they can threaten, nag and beg, the children do not come to school. Parents do not react to sms’s or letters send.
No help at all can be expected from the parents. They simply believe the children if they tell them that they can stay at home. Exams are over and now even the teachers encourage learners to stay at home so that they can sit and mark in their classes.
School taxis stop running and even the ones who want to come to school, can’t come, as there is no transport. School hostels are empty as all the children have already left for the holidays. Day students might pitch up on the last day to collect their reports, or they will just wait until schools re-open.
In this manner the Limpopo has about +-27days less school than the other provinces. And every year this ‘stay at home gap’ becomes longer.
Please don’t expect the Principals and/or teachers to make sure that the children attend, as this is not possible. Children do not listen any more, they do as they like.
I hear, (I do not say it) that the labour unions complained that one or two of the teachers at a school, had to mark during their holidays. Are they not all paid for the holidays as well? If the time table is worked out properly, it doesn’t have to be the same teachers every holiday.
The irony of the matter is, the Matrics stay at home for 7-9 school days after the mid-year exam, no work gets done, and they are relaxing at home and in the shopping malls. THEN we offer Winter School. For what? If they just spend all the days coming to school, winter school would be totally unnecessary. Can this be called irony or just plain a laughing matter?
This ‘staying away from school’ started with the Matrics, now it is all the other High School students and unfortunately it has already infiltrated the Primary Schools.
This arrangement is obviously not working and should be changed as quickly as possible to save our students as well as our province’s education. Several complaints were lodge from Principals and schools, but I do not even think that the letters are read because it comes from former model C schools and Independent Schools. The voice of reason is seldom heard.
*The content of this letter is not the view of Letaba Herald and is published as a letter/opinion piece by a local concerned parent in Tzaneen.