South African Communist Party

18 January 2022 The publication of National Senior Certificate or matric results with learner personal information in the media is a source of psychosocial stress and other adverse consequences for the affected learners. This perpetuates an apartheid practice whose reasoning was rooted in showcasing white learners as “inherently superior” to their black counterparts, who were historically oppressed, systematically disadvantaged, denied with adequate curriculum, learning and teaching resourcing. It is also not surprising that the court application to perpetuate the practice was lodged by AfriForum, an organisation whose background and practices leave much to be desired when frankly scrutinised from the principle and imperative of non-racialism. There can be no doubt one key reason why their court application succeeded on Tuesday, 18 January 2022, is that the Department of Basic Education did not oppose it. It is our considered view that the department should have defended its decision to not publish the matric results with leaner personal information, both in line with the purpose for which the Protection of Personal Information Act was adopted and to protect learners affected by psychosocial stress. The publication of the results with learner details does not add any educational value whatsoever. It is actually nonsensical to argue, as it was effectively argued in some papers, that a college or university that practices good governance can accept a media clip as the proof of matric results. While history shows that adverse consequences include some learners committing suicide because of the depression caused or compounded by the practice, private wealth accumulation media interests make profits from the sale of the results as part of their commodity media content and from the profit-driven advertising that it drives. This is no different from a money-making scam which mostly affects learners from working-class and poor family backgrounds, and historically disadvantaged areas and communities. The SACP stands by its campaign against the practice and will seek an engagement on the way forward with the wide range of stakeholders and social formations who share the same perspective. We will also seek an engagement with the department, among others, to understand why it did not defend its decision and what it is planning to do to protect the affected learners. The government and South Africans generally should focus on improving educational outcomes and success. Year in, year out, the matric results reflect the economic and social realities of inequality, unemployment, poverty, and the crisis of social reproduction experienced by learners from the working-class and poor families that struggle to support life. With the rising use of technology and access to connectivity and associated inequality deepening in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, learners from underdeveloped, under-resourced and disadvantaged areas and schools remain commonly the worst affected. This cannot be a reason for celebration but must be addressed as a matter of priority. ISSUED BY THE SOUTH AFRICAN COMMUNIST PARTY | SACP EST. 1921 AS THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF SOUTH AFRICA | CPSA   1921–2021: 100 YEARS OF UNBROKEN STRUGGLE PUT PEOPLE BEFORE PROFIT SOCIALISM IS THE FUTURE—BUILD IT NOW! Dr Alex Mohubetswane Mashilo SACP Central Committee Member: Media & Communications FOR INTERVIEW ARRANGEMENTS, MEDIA LIAISON & CIRCULATION SERVICES Hlengiwe Nkonyane Communications Officer: Media Liaison, Multimedia & Digital Communications Platforms Co-ordinator Mobile: +27 79 384 6550 OFFICE & OTHER CONTACT DETAILS Office: +2711 339 3621/2 Twitter: SACP1921 Website: www.sacp.org.za Facebook Page: South African Communist Party WELCOME TO THE SACP DONATION PAGE: https://donate.sacp.org.za/. PLEASE MAKE A CLEAN DONATION.

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SACP response to court judgment on the publication of matric results with learner personal information in the media