Matric Results Could Be Published In Newspapers If Court Decides

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With just days left before the release of the 2021 Grade 12 results, the decision to not publish learners’ results on public platforms has sparked debate in South Africa.


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With just days left before the release of the 2021 Grade 12 results, the decision to not publish learners’ results on public platforms has sparked debate in South Africa.

The Department of Basic Education (DBE) announced that individual learner’s results will no longer be published in newspapers and media platforms.

The department revealed that there is also an urgent court application on the matter. The matter was brought before the court by AfriForum. Urgent representations from a number of organizations and individuals following the announcement were also made to the department.

The DBE explained that the decision it took was in order to remain compliant with the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA) which came into effect on 1 July 2021.

In a statement released on Sunday, the DBE says they will abide by the decision taken by the court. They add that they are guided to comply with all the legal obligations but they must act in the best interest of the learner.

They said, “In a quest to strike this delicate balance of complying with POPIA and act in the best interest of the learner, the department has been engaged with a number of role players, including the Information Regulator and the South African National Editors' Forum (SANEF).”

The decision taken by the department sparked debate as purchasing a newspaper to view matric results is an age-old tradition in South Africa. Many used the newspaper as a tool to check if friends and family members passed their NSC examinations.

Afriforum has welcomed the announcement that the DBE will not oppose the decision taken by the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria.

Natasha Venter, Manager for Education Rights at AfriForum said “We hope to ensure in the court on Tuesday that the 2021 matriculants will be able to access their results on media platforms as has been the norm in the past”.

Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga will announce the outcome of the 2021 NSC examination on Thursday, 20 January 2022. This will be followed by matriculants receiving their individual results on the next day.

Almost 900 000 learners participated in the 2021 NSC examinations while more than 41 500 markers were employed to mark their scripts.

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