Pretoria - The Mpumalanga Department of Education will this year employ a backup IT system during the capturing of matric results to avoid possible technical glitches and delays in releasing the results.
The system will run concurrently with the Integrated Examinations Computerised System which was developed by the national Education Department and was used for the first time during the 2008 Grade 12 examinations to capture learner marks and results.
In 2008, 9 000 learners did not receive their results on time due to the new computer system which proved to be extremely challenging.
The back up system will therefore ensure that there is back-up data available if there happens to be a failure of the IT system.
The provincial department has also appointed 60 data on-line capturers who will start training from 12 to 14 October 2009.
The department said the capturing of School-Based Assessment (SBA) marks will be done at regions and will proceed from 15 October to 30 October 2009.
"Previously this task was centralized at Head Office and has been decentralized to expedite the process of SBA capturing, whilst being closely monitored centrally," Provincial MEC Reginah Mhaule said.
Marking of exam papers will take place in 17 centres and capturing of marks will be done off-line at marking centres and on-line or web-based at four cluster capturing centres.
She said 55 888 full time and 2 873 part time candidates would be sitting for the exams this year. The exams are scheduled to start on 26 October 2009 and end on 4 December 2009.
"The department has ensured that the 2009 examinations commence and end without hassles and plans are in place to ensure that the examinations unfold smoothly," she said.
Regarding the learner support system, Mhaule said all stops have been pulled to ensure that learners get all the support they need to prepare themselves in line with the Departmental Learner Attainment Strategy.
Mhaule noted that the release of results on 7 January 2010, would afford the examinations administration more time to attend to all matters before the release of the results.
She extended her well wishes to all provincial learners who will be sitting for the 2009 Examinations.
"These examinations add impetus to your dreams of a better life for you and those that are close to you. They require your unwavering zeal, commitment and willingness to succeed.
"Through your hard work and perseverance you have all managed to get this far and will therefore need to put your minds to the crossing of the line, remember these wise words, procrastination is the thief of time, so you must all prepare for the war ahead," Mhaule told learners.