POPIA cited as reason to keep Matric results private

The release of the 2021 Matric results will not happen as usual with the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA) cited as the reason to keep student performance private.

Elijah Mhlanga – Chief Director: Communications & Media: Department of Basic Education – released a statement which the department then also posted for greater visibility.

“The Protection of Personal Information Act, 2013 (Act No. 4 of 2013) (the POPIA) came into effect on 1 July 2021. The DBE recognizes that section 14 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, provides that everyone has the right to privacy. This right to privacy includes a right to protection against the unlawful collection, retention, dissemination and use of personal information. In order to comply with the provisions of the POPIA, the usual practice of publishing the national senior certificate (NSC) results on public platforms (media platforms) will not occur for 2021,” the statement reads.

People in the comments feared that this shielding of information is to hide poor performances of the Matric class on a national level.

While it remains to be seen what the performance of the 2021 class looks like, the DBE was quick to quell these thoughts stating that, “the Minister will announce the performance of the matric #Classof2021 on 20 January 2022”.

The Matric results are expected to be released on 21st January. According to the official timetable of events which you can see below, Umalusi is currently in the process of standardising and approving the results.

Umalusi is an oversight body that verifies the results of the exams to ensure they are legitimate and free of irregularities.

“As was also the practice in previous years all learners will be required to obtain their statement of results from the schools they attended. In this way every learner’s personal information with regards to the outcome of their national senior certificate exam will be protected,” Mhlanga adds.

Only time will tell how this change to the release of the results will work out. In the past we’ve seen fear and anxiety expressed by Matrics on social media due to the fact that anyone can look up their results freely.


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