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Brackenfell latest: Concerns raised over ‘matric exam disruption’

Brackenfell latest: Concerns raised over ‘matric exam disruption’

There is a very real human cost to the disruptions we are seeing in Brackenfell – the educational future of these learners has been put at risk.

The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) has revealed that a number of learners encountered problems with getting to their exams on time in Brackenfell this week. The Western Cape town has become a hot-spot for racial tensions in the past few days, after a group of EFF protesters were attacked outside of the local high school.

According to the department’s spokesperson, Bronagh Hammond, the protest action – and subsequent violence – prevented a number of students from getting to their matric test centres on time. This has put their potential for academic achievement in jeopardy, as Hammond and her colleagues race to put a contingency plan in place:

“The WCED is very concerned about the candidates that are experiencing difficulty in getting to their exam centres as a result of protest action affecting various traffic routes. As per national examination regulations – we will allow candidates to start writing up until 10:00 Given the disruption caused by widespread protests, we will allow learners their full time.”

“If they are unable to start writing by 10:00, we will engage with DBE to schedule a back-up paper in the event that large numbers are unable to arrive at their venues. Candidates cannot be accommodated at other centres because there is no provision for space and social distancing and administrative systems are unable to accommodate them.”

“Additional exam papers may not be made available, either. We appeal to communities to consider the candidates and their futures. They’ve been through so much this year, and such actions have extreme consequences for these learners.”

WCED statement

The region erupted into violence on Monday, after a cohort of Red Berets launched a second day of protests against Brackenfell High School. The facility is accused of organising a ‘whites-only’ matric dance – but these allegations have been strenuously denied by educational officials and those who attended.

The EFF has vowed to take revenge against those who picked fights with their members – one woman was beaten with a baseball bat, after a masked thug attempted to move her away from the school. The political party has not confirmed when they will be arriving to ‘shutdown Brackenfell’ – but they certainly have something in the pipeline.


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