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Johannes Moko v The Acting Principal case where a student's right to basic education was violated / Image: eNCA.com

Limpopo matric pupil’s right to education violated as he was denied access to exam

Talane – The Constitutional Courts finds the conduct of a high school acting principal in Limpopo who denied Johannes Moko access to exam on 25th of November 2020.

The acting principal’s demeanour follows Moko’s failure to attend extra lessons, the principal took it upon himself as if the school is his, to deny the learner access to exam.

The court declared the acting principal’s behaviour not appeasing and violating Moko’s right to education.

According to TimesLIVE, the court passed judgement on an application furnished and/or filed by Johannes Moko, a 23-years-old pupil at Malusi Secondary School in Marobjane Village.

Moko did not write the business studies paper 2 after the acting principal Tlou Mokgonyana urged him to go back home to fetch his parents or guardian just because he missed his extra lessons.

Moko went home as instructed, unfortunately he couldn’t find his guardian as such he went back to school where examination was already in progress.

The ruthless acting principal, who made state property his pocked, could not allow Moko to write the paper, having Moko missing his paper.

Follow the incident, Moko did not give up as he’s determined to further his studies at tertiary in 2021, he brought an “urgent application to the high court in Limpopo for an order that he be given an opportunity to write the missed examination soon.”

Justice Sisi Khampepe on Monday said, “the high court, for reasons which cannt be fathomed, struck the matter off the roll for lack of urgency.”

After the case was struck off the roll by the high court, Moko applied for leave to approach the ConCourt whereby he will be seeking the exposure and the fact that the demeanour of the acting principal was in transgression and/or violation of the right to basic and further education as provided for in the provision of the Constitution of the land.

Moko he insisted that he be afforded the privilege to write the missed paper prior the marking and releasing of the scripts thereof.

The department of education (DBE), Umalusi and the acting school principal did not impugn Moko’s application which led him to being offered the opportunity by DBE, to write the asaid paper in January 2021.

The court in its judgement the case, it ruled that the matric examination alone amounted to the protection of basic education by the constitution.

“As a result, the court holds the acting principal had a positive obligation to give effect to the right and a negative obligation to not interfere with the right to basic education.”

The court concluded that the acting principal’s behaviour that amounted in Moko’s not writing the exam, is clearly the violation of Moko’s right to basic education, leading to the decision of the court that the pupil be afforded the privilege to write the exam before the 15th of January 2021, and his results must be released on the same day with those who sat for the paper on the 25th of November 2020.

READ FULL CASE: MOKO V ACTING PRINCIPAL OF MALUSI SECONDARY SCHOOL CCT297/20

Khampepe quoted Pakistan activist for female education and the youngest Novel Prize laureate Malala Yousafzi’s famous quote, “when someone takes away your pens, you realise quite how important education is.”

She said teachers must not take their learners’ pens and shun from making them feel unprotected durng the exams.

“Conduct by educators like that seen in this case is completely unacceptable. I hope occurrences like these are rare and that most, if not all, our matric pupils, felt supported by their school principal and teachers during the examination period,” Khampepe said.

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