I personally do not want my matric results published, says pupil
On Tuesday, the High Court in Pretoria ruled in favour of matriculant Anlé Spies, AfriForum and Maroela Media to reverse Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga’s decision not to publish matric results on newspaper platforms.
An urgent application was granted to have the results of the matric class of 2021 published in the media, despite concerns over the Protection of Personal Information Act (Popia).
On Tuesday, the High Court in Pretoria ruled in favour of matriculant Anlé Spies, AfriForum and Maroela Media to reverse Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga’s decision not to publish matric results on newspaper platforms. Natasha Venter, manager of education rights at AfriForum, said it was in the public interest that
results were shared on public platforms.
Democratic Alliance shadow MEC of education Khume Ramulifho said the publishing of the results created excitement and interest among pupils.
“The pride attached to it and [pupils] who prepared themselves to write final exams, especially under difficult circumstances, can’t be simply written off,” he said.
Ramulifho said matric results drew attention to how the education system was improving.
Park Town Boys’ High School matriculant Andzisani Sibuyi said the ruling made it easier to access the results.
“It’s a bit of both because we get to finally get rid of some stress, and it’s also nerve-racking to know our results,” he said.
Sibuyi said he was happy only exam numbers were being published, which meant there was still a privacy aspect.
Another matriculant, Obakeng Mothibe, disagreed.
“I personally do not want mine and other pupils’ results published and I do not think the public should know,” he said.
Mothibe said pupils were anxious about the results being open to the public.
“It certainly brings a lot of pressure to perform, but mainly it puts pressure on the class of 2022 to perform better,” he said.
Education expert Professor Mary Metcalfe said the court application was important because it gave clarity on a question that has been raised by many stakeholders “and it stresses that names may not be published”.
Mugwena Maluleke, the South African Democratic Teachers’ Union general secretary, said the court action by representatives of capital didn’t represent pupils or their parents.
“We must express our indignation to this action because capital is concerned about the balance sheet and not the undue pressure put on our pupils,” he said.
Mugwena said pupils had dealt with unprecedented workloads as a result of the pandemic.
“For them to face another pressure, was unacceptable. The department of basic education has no duty to provide capital with [pupils’] information and must appeal this judgment in the best interest of the pupils and not that
of capital,” he said.
In a statement the department of education said it would abide by the ruling and “make available the results to stakeholders who requested access”.