Westridge student wants to fly

Kauthar Williams, 18, is unable to fulfil her dreams of going to flight school as she requires her matric certificate to register.

About ten percent of pupils who registered to write the amended senior certificate examination at Balco College, in Portland, were not eligible to write it because they were under-aged.

Ten of 100 pupils who applied to write the examination in May and June last year were younger than 18.

They had applied to write the examination meant for pupils aged between 18 and 21.

The Department of Basic Education introduced the qualification in 2015, to enable adult pupils to complete their matric.

Paddy Atwell, spokesman for the Western Cape Education Department (WCED), said candidates were eligible enrol for the exam if they were older than 18 years, in terms of national policy.

“They can apply for special permission to write these exams if they are older than 18, and not yet 21, and are out of school,” he said.

These statements come after parents of some of the pupils complained to the WCED that their children cannot go on with their lives.

The Daily Voice reported on Monday February 19 that Kauthar Williams, 18, from Westridge, and Shameez Pasqualli, 19, from Beacon Valley, both wrote their matric exams in June last year but have not received their results or certificates.

Shameez’s mother Shamiela Pasqualli said her daughter’s birth certificate would show that she was indeed born on 28 December 1998, which means she was 18 as on May 23 last year.

Kauthar needs her matric certificate to fulfil her dream of going to flight school and this is holding her back.

Her mother Ruschda Abrahams, who is a paralegal, said that the WCED’s explanation was just a cover-up because the college was not registered when her daughter wrote.

Last month Mr Attwell said Balco was not registered with them, and directed enquiries to the Department of Higher Education and Training.

On Thursday February 15, however, Mr Attwell stated the institution had been registered as an independent school as of January 3 2018.

“Balco applied for registration in November 2017, and supplied additional documents required for registration in December,” he said.

“We are aware that Balco is also a well-established adult education centre, known as the Build Adult Learning Co-operative, or Balco.

“Community learning centres must register with Department of Higher Education and Training. Our records indicate the centre is registered.”

The Daily Voice also reported that Balco founder, Marshall September, last week offered to re-enrol the pupils for free, but Ms Abrahams refused.

Mr September says there’s no way he can refund Ms Abrahams: “Unfortunately we won’t be able to pay the monies back. We (Balco) are not a company that makes a lot of money.” Daily Voice