EVERY MARK COUNTS


“Hey Rosie how are exams going?”

“Great!” – she’s been hanging around her boet too long.

“What are you writing tomorrow?”

“Afrikaans”

“What must you learn?”

“Lots………”
“LIKE?”
“ummmmmmmmmm……. meervoud”

“AND????????”
“ummmmmm ….. not sure”
“WHATDOYOUMEANYOUARENOTSUREYOUAREWRITINGANEXAMTOMORROW”
“Stop shouting at me MOM!!! you are so MEAN!!!!”
I try a different tack…..

“How are exams Jamie?”

“GREAT” – see what I mean……

“What are you writing tomorrow?” – now the 1000 odd kids at Jeffreys Bay Primary are ALL writing an Afrikaans exam tomorrow – no brainer question.

“Ummmmmmmmmm – not quite sure”

Now I am absolutely sure that my 13 year old is taking the ostrich approach to examinations – if he sticks his head in the sand long enough they might dissapear.

I start opening and closing my mouth like a fish, the poor boy has been hanging around for long enough to know whats comming…….

“Mom, I think its Afrikaans” he says quickly.

“And what must you learn?”

Again a quick answer, “Meervoud”

Now the logical side of my brain starts doing the Math, Grade 4 Afrikaans exam – 50 marks of pure MEERVOUD (lets put it in capitals because it must be a VERY important part of the Afrikaans curriculum), Grade 7 end of the year exam – 100 marks of MEERVOUD, something is just not jelling here. Ironically MEERVOUD means more than one – Loots family cant get past this.

“YOUANDYOURSISTERAREYANKINGMYCHAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
“MOM……….your spitting at me……..”
I leave the room.
I now understand exams – they have nothing to do with the accumulation of knowledge or the lack there of, but, more to do with retribution of teachers – it is their way of paying us back for having to put up with our kids for the past 12 months, they end the year by serving us our own little slice of classroom hell.

Teachers – I take my cap off to you for what you do for our families, our children and our communities – you are the real angels in this country.

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