DURBAN - WITH the announcement by the Department of Basic Education (DBE) that matric results will no longer be available for everyone to access on public platforms, a health expert has weighed in and said that although this was a positive move, it was not enough as it would still impact negatively on the society.
Counselling psychologist and public speaker Tholinhlanhla Dlamini-Ngcoya said this was a relief to a few, however, parents who had complained about the publicising of matric results of pupils in newspapers, appeared to make this about them and not about the pupils.
On whether the move would not affect businesses and individuals that had relied on newspapers to choose high-performing pupils and financially support them through bursaries towards their tertiary studies, Dlamini-Ngcoya said this would undoubtedly affect the business side of things, as they would no longer be able to access the results.
“With the rise of social media, children take the media very seriously, and if anything goes wrong and they are feeling that their privacy has been compromised, they can commit suicide. This is also fuelled by the communities they live in, because matric results have been turned into a status thing in the community, and become everyone’s business.”
Dlamini-Ngcoyi emphasised that the current generation was not as resilient compared to the previous generation.
She mentioned that suicide was real and many children died, therefore taking a risk and continuing publishing their names was not worth it.
She also urged parents and businesses to provide support and understand that pupils also encountered problems like everyone else.
“They apply pressure and condemn children when they fail their matric, and forget that many factors are contributing to that. One can give an example about the passing of a family member, this has an impact on learners. The other impact is that many other social issues may slow down the performance of learners.”
According to Dlamini-Ngcoya, the downside of not publicly publishing matric results, was that pupils might lose motivation to work extra hard.
She added: “The Department of Health must provide the children with mental health support at the schools especially from Grade 11, because even though the decision to not publicise the results is moving in the right direction, it is not the solution.
“It might reduce the psychological impact that the negative results will have on the children from the external factors like community, parents, peers, etc but will not assist dealing with the internal factors which lead to depression and sometimes suicidal ideation,” said Dlamini-Ngcoya.
On Tuesday Angie Motshekga, the Minister of Basic Education, who was speaking during a media briefing, announced that the National Senior Certificate (NSC) examination results would no longer be published on public platforms.
Elaborating on the surprise move, she said the department had recognised that section 14 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, provided that everyone had the right to privacy and that this right to privacy included a right to protection against the unlawful collection, retention, dissemination, and use of personal information.
Furthermore, she stated that the pupils would be required to obtain their statements of results from their respective schools.
“In this way, every learner’s personal information, with regard to the outcomes of the 2021 NSC exams, will be protected.”
The NSC results are expected to be released on January 21.