Durban – Three percent is all that stands between a Durban North schoolboy doing his matric this year or repeating Grade 11.
And now his father has secured a High Court order compelling the education department to re-mark his Afrikaans Second Language paper.
In an urgent application that came before Durban High Court Judge Johan Ploos van Amstel on Monday, the boy's father said he had already had the paper independently assessed by a teacher from another school.
According to the father, that teacher had said if correct marking methods had been used, his son would have got between 5% and 8% more on the paper.
"This may not be the best mark, but it would have meant he could be promoted to Grade 12," he said.
The father said the reason for the urgency of the application was that he had only been told about the failure at the end of the school year.
He said one of the issues raised by the "independent teacher" who had looked at the test was that it had been marked at a level indicating his son's mother tongue was Afrikaans, when it was not.
He said he had done everything possible to address the issue with education authorities over the holidays but had no success until about two weeks ago when an official agreed to re-mark the paper.
But there was still no result, he said, and the first term of school was proceeding.
In terms of the order, which was taken by consent, the department has five days to re-mark the paper.