Pretoria - The Department of Education has described this year's matric exams as successful, saying there were no major hiccups reported.
This year 585 474 pupils wrote the exams which started on 21 October and ended on 4 December. Chief Director of National Examinations and Assessment Nkosinathi Sishi said the number was slightly higher than last year. Gauteng had the highest number of candidates with a total of 101 571.
Addressing the media in Pretoria on Friday, Sishi said although the department was concerned at the beginning of the exams due to the leaking of papers in Mpumalanga, they hoped for the best.
"The exams were successful, this is according to the best of our knowledge," he said, adding that there were no major incidents reported apart from the Mpumalanga leaks.
Thirteen people, two of whom were teachers, were arrested for their involvement in the leaks and other irregularities. "The majority of irregularities were administrative in nature and none of the irregularities impacted on the integrity of the examinations," he said.
To ensure speedy release of the results, 45 000 markers throughout the country have been brought on board to mark the scripts.
"The selection of markers was based on experience and subject knowledge," said Sishi.
This year is the second time Grade 12s write exams under the new curriculum. Sishi said learners who are not happy with their results will be afforded an opportunity to appeal after the 7th of January.