Muir blunder ‘costs pupil top honours’

Lyle Ressouw
Lyle Ressouw

Human error on the part of a top Nelson Mandela Bay school has cost one of the Eastern Cape’s best performing matrics overall first place in the province in terms of matric aggregates, his family claims.

Ex-Muir College pupil Lyle Ressouw – The Herald Continental Matric of the Year 2014 winner – appeared to have missed out on top honours after his Uitenhage alma mater accidentally provided the education department with inaccurate results for life orientation (LO) – an internally examined subject.

The school has admitted the mistake and apologised profusely, but government red tape means the teen will have to wait before the error is reversed. Ressouw’s suspicions arose after he received his Umalusi matric certificate which reflected his LO mark as being 89%, despite the 18-year-old never having received less than 98% throughout the year.

“I’m not looking for any additional awards or accolades, I just don’t want all my hard work to go to waste. You spend 12 years of your life in school and I have given my all throughout, especially in matric, so I want what I worked for,” Ressouw said.

“I saw the mistake while we were at the national awards in Pretoria. My dad reported it to the Education Department but he was told it was too late to make changes. But now that the awards are done, I need the mistake to be rectified and a formal apology from the department. Also, the records on their websites and books need to be changed to reflect my rightful position.”

Ressouw’s father, Brendan, said if including the additional 9% and totalling the subject percentages of the province’s top three matrics – who included his son, Rohin Jain (currently second) and Luvi Luzipho (currently first) – his son would be 3% ahead of the competition. “The department is well aware of the situation but I think they are stalling for time because they know Lyle leaves for Stellenbosch next week.

“But we won’t let it go that easily; even if he is gone I will carry on fighting because my son fought hard to achieved the marks he did.”

Muir College principal Nigel Hopley said a report and the corrected marks for the subject had since been submitted to officials at the Uitenhage district, who had in turn taken them to the examination section in Bhisho.

“It is with deep regret that we acknowledge and accept responsibility for the human error which resulted in the incorrect marks for life orientation being submitted to the department.

“This error affects a number of the matric candidates, as well as possibly affecting the position attained by Lyle Ressouw. The school humbly apologises to all concerned. The school has done everything possible from our side to correct this regrettable error . . . steps have been taken to prevent this happening again.”

Department of Education spokesman Malibongwe Mtima said: “Learners who are not happy with their results must apply by January 21 to go through the process of remarking, review and rechecking. The same applies to Ressouw.

“If the marks are 9% short as he claims, then the department will both apologise and update our records accordingly.”

– Tremaine van Aardt 

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