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Student Wins Against DBE in High Court

The Pretoria high court has granted an urgent application by an 18-year-old matric pupil to reverse the Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga’s decision not to publish matric results on printed media. The pupil’s application was supported by AfriForum and Maroela Media.

The court ordered the department: “publish the National Senior Certificate results on public platforms (media platforms) as was the practice in previous years, concurrently with making available the results to the schools that had been attended by the learners”.

At the core of the argument against the department’s decision was the practicality of only receiving the results at the school where they completed their matric, meaning that if a pupil is not at the school on the day, they might not receive their results timeously.

Hurter Spies Inc said this decision would result in grave inconvenience for students who live far away from their schools. Many students live in hostels during school terms.

“There will only be one week from the date of announcement of the matric results until the day on which I have to report in Bloemfontein to commence my orientation at the residence I intend staying in.

“This is unlike previous years. In the past matric results (except for last year) used to be announced shortly after Christmas or in early January, leaving three to four weeks before students had to report for their studies at the respective campuses of tertiary institutions they intended visiting,” said Anlé Spies, the student behind the urgent application..

“I can just imagine that a huge number of the more than one-million matriculants who wrote the matric exams last year are in a similar position to me in that they had moved or relocated to addresses far away from the schools they attended when they sat for the matric exams.”

She disputed the relevance of the argument that the department was fulfilling the POPI Act as the results that used to be published in newspapers never contained the names of matriculants. “It merely contained the examination number of a specific matriculant, the examination centre where the exams were written, and an indication of subjects which a matriculant may have passed with distinction.

“In this way the publication of matric results on independent online platforms or in printed newspapers never disclosed the identity of matriculants themselves,

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