Report on conduct of 2010 examinations released
by Mpho Keleboge
A report of the Keetla Masogo chaired Committee of Enquiry Into the Conduct of The 2010 Examinations has been released and places blame for the crisis on all the stakeholders in the education sector.
The Report admits that the 2010 exams were conducted under an unstable and hostile environment, marred by controversy arising from disagreements between the Education ministry, exam regulator BEC and teachers’ unions.
After calls from teachers’ unions and the opposition to conduct an inquiry, the government commissioned a committee, led by Keetla Masogo, to look into the mess.
The committee was appointed by Education Minister, Pelonomi Venson Moitoi, to establish events leading to the impasse in the conduct of the 2010 examinations, determine the extent to which the roles of the different stakeholders contributed towards the impasse during the conduct of the 2010 Examinations, establish the appropriateness of the actions and decisions taken by the different stakeholders during the 2010 examinations and recommend a sustainable solution that will help avoid the repeat of the 2010 debacle.
The committee’s report established that the Education ministry, BEC and the teachers contributed to the fiasco.
The dispute revolved around the role of teachers in the invigilation and marking of external exams. The committee observes that BEC’s decision to be inflexible in the talks with the Unions was inappropriate. Equally inappropriate were both BEC and Unions’ approaches to conflict resolution which were very uncompromising and detrimental to any positive outcomes that could have been arrived at.
Since its operation in 2005, BEC has not developed its own regulation but has instead adopted and continued to use ERTD guidelines for the past seven years. Failure to develop guidelines may have led to BEC management and governing Council having difficulties in resolving hairy situations as evidenced by the BEC governing councils special minutes of 21 September 2010,that there were differing views at the organisation.
The report stated that, following the court victory by unions over the invigilation directive, teachers made it clear that they were not going to participate in the administration of the examinations without remuneration.
The report says BEC governing Council differed with BEC management on the position of management that the relationship BEC should have with Unions should be consultative and not a bargaining forum.
Though they had a duty to deliver examination in 2010, BECs legalistic approach in the negotiations resulted in the collapse of the talks.
The committee observe with regret that BEC did not do a cost benefit analysis in that they never weighed how much it would cost them to engage teachers at an increased fee compared to the cost that was incurred, including hiring vehicles from private sector. The committee was not presented with evidence that various options were weighed and was not convinced, therefore, that the lowest figure of P30 and highest of P150 were the only options available.
The committee observed that BECs decision to be inflexible in the talks with Unions was inappropriate, read part of the report.
It furthers says, equally inappropriate were both BEC and Unions attitude towards conflict resolution which were very uncompromising and detrimental to any positive outcomes that could have been arrived at.
It found that the ministry was wrong in taking sides with BEC in their ‘take it or leave attitude’, to a point where they hired external invigilators.
In conclusion, the Committee then made 13 Recommendations to assist all the stakeholders to avoid a repeat of what transpired in 2010.