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MPs want private and public school exams, calendars to merge

They made the call during a joint meeting of the National Assembly Basic Education portfolio committee and the NCOP select committee on Wednesday night.

© smolaw11/123rf.com

CAPE TOWN - Members of Parliament want calendars and exams of private and public schools to be aligned into one system.

They made the call during a joint meeting of the National Assembly Basic Education portfolio committee and the NCOP select committee on Wednesday night.

The two committees received a briefing from the department, which gave an update on the current status on the reopening of schools.

The department’s briefing comes after some private schools objected to being instructed to not reopen until February.

Officials said that the new coronavirus variant had forced the department to delay the reopening by two weeks.

Some committee members questioned the department about why private schools and the department were going in opposite directions.

Committee member Dr Sophie Thembekwayo: "When is the DBE intending to start a discussion on the merging of the examination systems. We have two examination systems but one country."

Director-General Mathanzima Mweli said private and public schools are governed by the constitution and both have a place in the country.

"If you accept private schools, you have to accept that private schools are different from public schools in terms of regulation as well."

On the two week delay, Mweli said that the new COVID-19 variant presented more challenges for the department.

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