News clipping – – 2 December 2010

Sadtu explains comment

The KwaZulu-Natal branch of the SA Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) reiterated its call on Thursday for "biased marking" in favour of black matrics. "Sadtu's call for biased marking does notůmean [to] generously give more marks to African / working class learners nor marking correct what is wrong," said provincial secretary Mbuyiseni Mathonsi in a statement. "It ů means that markers must be progressive and transformative in their marking such that they take it into consideration, in the main, the issue of [a] language barrier. We want them [markers] to scrutinize the scripts with the view to figure out meaning in the learners' answer."

The union said the fact many learners wrote in a language other than their mother tongue should be accounted for. "How are learners struggling to master the language expected to fully master the content carried by that language?"

Mathonsi said the situation could be equated to a race whereby a second-language learner was placed with a mother tongue learner "10 kilometres ahead" and "expecting a fair competition". "Remember, same papers are set, same amount of time allocated, same language used as though all is level. A decisive intervention is therefore imperative to level the ground for equity, redress and access."

He said the union "condemned" any "slap dash" process of rushing through marking without consideration of these issues. "We feel the time to make such a call from the roof-tops is now."