It has been an annual tradition for matric students to eagerly wait for the publication of their results on public platforms. This, however, will now longer be the case.
The Department of Basic Education has announced that matric results will no longer be published on digital platforms or newspapers in line with the Protection of Personal Information Act (Act No. 4 of 2013) (POPIA) which came into effect on 1 July 2021.
In a statement, the department said that publishing personal information online would be a contravention of the Act. The results will be released on the 21st of January 2022 and will be available for collection from the school’s pupils attended at.
“The usual practice of publishing the National Senior Certificate (NSC) results on public platforms will not occur for the class of 2021”, said the department of education spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga in a media statement.
The POPI Act was put in place for the protection of private information against the unlawful collection, retention, dissemination, and use of personal information.
According to News24,The South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU) spokesperson Nomusa Cembi said the union supported the move because it would benefit pupils. “ The fact that the results are not being made public will lessen the pressure on learners. Teenagers are vulnerable and we often hear cases of suicides linked to the matric results. Complying with the POPIA will respect learners’ privacy-why should the whole world know their marks? It’s fine for the public to know the general averages; they don’t need to know how each individual did”, she said.
News24 further explains that Congress of South African Students(Cosas) president General Thabang Mokoena said the union has been lobbying to have the publication of matric results scrapped for years.
Most of the students were ecstatic about the decision made because that meant they were the only ones who would have access to their results. Anathi Jele who went to Kokstad College explains that she’s glad that the results are not being issued on public platforms, this gives her reassurance that no-one but her will see them. It would be up to her whether she wants to show people or not. Instead of someone getting her exam number and seeing them before she even gets a chance to.
“Honestly, I am happy about it because society has had us by our necks because of these results, meanwhile they were not even supporting us during exams. It’s like they are waiting for us not to make it or were not good enough. It’s not pleasant being labelled as a failure in public and that is why others resort to suicide”, says Anita Nobinjana who went to Shayamoya Area Secondary School.