Loadshedding Leaves Matric Exam Body Concerned



In 12 days time, matriculants around South Africa will begin their final school exams. However, there are growing concerns that the performance of the class of 2022 will be negatively impacted by loadshedding.




Quality assurance body, Umalusi has approved the writing of the 2022 National Senior Certificate (NSC). The NSC examinations will be monitored by the Department of Basic Education (DBE), the Independent Examinations Board (IEB) and the South African Comprehensive Assessment Institute (SACAI).

This stamp of approval comes after Umalusi conducted an audit to test the readiness of the assessment bodies which manage and conduct the end of year examinations.

Umalusi has noted their concern with the inadequate staffing at the National and District Offices in key Examinations and Assessment Chief Directorates and the continued non-compliance with the criterion for storage and nodal points.

The body clarified that these shortcomings are not of the magnitude that they could put the credibility of the examinations at risk.

Umalusi is concerned about loadshedding and impact of the constant power cuts in the matric exams. This is especially concerning when it comes to examinations that require candidates to use electricity, such as: Computer and Technology (CAT) and Information Technology (IT).

Umalusi's acting Communications Manager, Biki Lepota says assessment bodies have been advised to make contingency plans should loadshedding occur during an examination.

Lepota adds that if contingency measures are unable to be implemented, they will have discussions with assessment bodies about rescheduling the exams in concern. This, as they do not want learners to be disadvantaged due to the unavailability of electricity.

General Secretary of the South African Democratic Teachers Union, Mugwena Maluleke says this will be one of the most difficult examinations for learners. This as the class of 2022 will have suffered more learning losses due to the Covid-19 pandemic than previous classes.

Maluleke says the challenges faced by the class of 2022 will be further compounded by ongoing loadshedding. This is because loadshedding will also impact learners psychologically.

Eskom has been called on to classify schools as critical sites which would make them exempt from loadshedding.

During the 2021 NSC examinations, Umalusi noted several irregularities, including learners having unauthorised/early access to exam papers before the examination. Lepota says the DBE is doing all they can to ensure that no exam papers are leaked during the upcoming examinations.

A total of 923,460 candidates have been registered to participate in the NSC exams by the DBE. The department registered 755,981 full-time candidates and 167,479 part-time candidates.

The IEB has registered a total of 13,597 candidates for the NSC exams. Of the more than 13,000 candidates expected to participate, 12,599 are full-time candidates while 968 are part-time candidates.





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