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Department Of Basic Education Ready To Handle Matric Exams

Young man writing an exam

On Wednesday, October 27, grade 12 learners around the country will begin writing their first National Senior Certificate (NSC) examination paper.

School learners all over the country have had challenging circumstances to deal with over the past two years. The Covid-19 pandemic caused disruptions to the academic year and impacted the amount of time learners spent in their classrooms. Factor in the Covid-19 protocols, which saw learners return to class on a rotational basis, the amount of teaching time learners received is less than matriculants who wrote their exam in 2019.

The Department of Basic Education (DBE) says they are prepared to handle the upcoming examination season. Gauteng Department of Education Spokesperson, Steve Mabona described the period to come as crunch time.

He explains that the department has trained examination invigilators to oversee around 897 786 candidates writing the 2021 NSC examinations. Of the 897 786 candidates writing the examination, 735 677 are full time candidates. There are 6 326 public examinations and 626 independent centres and 526 designated examination centres.

Mabona says that the department has also had to up the security measures to ensure that the integrity of the current examinations is upheld. Last year, the physical science paper two leaked and was shared in several provinces. He says the department has established a Whatsapp line where any irregularities can be reported.

He said, “we have amplified that process to say we need to safeguard and make sure and also we safeguard these papers as money. The security detail around transportation thereof from one point to the other has been enhanced”. Mabona says that more security enhancements have been made to ensure that students are also protected from the threat of having to rewrite leaked examinations.

He has also encouraged the parents of matriculants to contact childline for support for their children. This, as the emotional and mental strain can be very high during this type of examination period. The childline contact number is 116.

The Department of Education released a statement about the upcoming examination period and are calling on South Africans to rally behind the Class of 2021.

They said, ‘The department would like to commend all learners, teachers and SMTs for the resilience they have shown in beaching the pandemic with a single goal of ensuring that the Class of 2021 receives optimum support’.

‘The department wishes all candidates who will sit for the 2021 NSC examination the very best in their endeavours to ensure success in this very important examination’ concluded the statement.

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