Be­yond all logic

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - COMMENT -

PER­HAPS the most de­press­ing as­pect of the ou­tra­geous dis­rup­tion of ma­tric ex­ams at a hand­ful of Cape Town schools over the past two days was the rea­son given by the Congress of South African Stu­dents.

Cosas is cham­pi­oning the cause of pupils from La­gunya Fin­ish­ing School in Langa who are up­set that the Ed­u­ca­tion Depart­ment has de­cided to close the school at the end of the year. The cru­cial thing

to know about La­gunya is that it is the only school where failed ma­tric­u­lants can go to re­peat their sub­jects, at R50 a sub­ject.

Re­fer­ring to the pupils whose exam scripts the mem­bers of his or­gan­i­sa­tion tore up, Cosas pro­vin­cial chair­man Ben­jamin Zantsi said: “If th­ese pupils fail they will have to go to the fin­ish­ing school where they will see that the school is ef­fec­tive and rel­e­vant.”

Logic is clearly not Cosas’s strong point. It’s hard to think of a less per­sua­sive ar­gu­ment for the cause of sav­ing the school.

It’s also hard to think of a less sup­port­ive stu­dents’ or­gan­i­sa­tion than one that en­cour­ages its mem­bers to de­lib­er­ately scup­per the chances of other pupils dur­ing one of the most im­por­tant and in­tim­i­dat­ing ex­ams they will write.

The West­ern Cape Ed­u­ca­tion depart­ment has ob

tained a High Court in­ter­dict bar­ring Cosas from dis­rupt­ing the re­main­ing ex­ams, al­though see­ing po­lice ap­pear to have failed to stop the dis­rup­tions so far, we won­der how ef­fec­tive it will be. Cosas has al­ready said it will not be de­terred.

But the mean-spir­ited bloody-mind­ed­ness of the Cosas mem­bers is symp­to­matic of an at­ti­tude that

does not au­gur well for the fu­ture of South Africa.

To turn the old “pass one, pass all” slo­gan on its head, an at­ti­tude of “fail one, fail all” sim­ply means that we all go down to­gether.

And that is to no one’s ben­e­fit.

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