Johannesburg – The Department of Basic Education made a “grave and insensitive error of judgement” in its exam question asking pupils to describe how they would symbolically represent a scene in which a nine month old baby is raped, said Agang’s communications director, Thabo Leshilo.
“This is a staggeringly insensitive way to treat young people when dealing with such a potentially traumatising issue.”
“How could the Department know whether some of the pupils may themselves have been victims of abuse?” said Leshilo.
The 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children began on Monday as part of a global awareness campaign to woman and child abuse. Leshilo said that in light of the 16 Days it beggars belief that the Department allowed this question.
The Matric drama pupils were required to answer a compulsory question in their final written exam on Monday, which read:
“Describe how you would get the actor portraying Simon to perform this act to maximise the horror of the rape to the audience.”
According to the Department, the question was intended to assess the pupils’ understanding of the “action metaphor” concept by using a loaf of bread and a broomstick to symbolise the rape without it actually taking place on stage.
“If there is evidence that candidates have been affected by this question, the question will be excluded from the question paper and the marking guidelines will be adjusted accordingly…Nowhere is it expected of the candidate to have to literally describe the actual act of raping a nine-month old baby,” said the Department.
Image Source: AgangSA
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