All systems go for 2013 matric exams

Monday, October 14, 2013

Johannesburg – It’s all systems go for the 2013 National Senior Certificate (NSC), with more than 700 000 learners across the country expected to sit for the exams, Umalusi announced on Monday.

Some 707 136 learners, including about 130 000 part-time learners, will sit for this year’s exams, which will take place across more than 6 669 examination centres.

“These examinations will be overseen by about 65 000 invigilators and will be marked by over 35 000 markers in 118 marking centres across the country,” said Umalusi CEO Dr Mafu Rakometsi.

Declaring the country’s state of readiness for the end-of-the-year examinations, Rakometsi said Umalusi was satisfied with the preparations for the exams, and was confident that the general education system was adequately prepared to run them successfully.

However, he noted that while Umalusi did not have any major outstanding concerns regarding the upcoming national examinations, their only worry was the status of Limpopo and the Eastern Cape, as these provinces’ education departments were currently under administration.

“Umalusi has recommended to the Department of Basic Education that intensive monitoring of theses provinces needs to be instituted to mitigate possible unintended consequences of this situation. For its part, Umalusi will also intensify its monitoring where it deems necessary to do so,” Rakometsi explained.

With regards to Mpumalanga, which in the past had problems with exam papers being leaked, Rakometsi confidently affirmed that systems in that province were running very well and there were no longer any concerns.

“We are satisfied that Mpumalanga has graduated from the situation which happened five years. Their systems are running like a well-oiled machine.”

Rakometsi also assured that all systems were in place to deal with challenges like rainy days, where some learners - especially in rural areas - can’t cross over bridges to get to their schools. They were also prepared for incidents of electricity blackouts.

“We’ve got processes to deal with those challenges.”

Umalusi Acting Chief Operating Officer, Vijayen Naidoo, said 130 question papers have been 100% approved by Umalusi, including 128 question papers for the supplementary exams.

“All provincial departments of education have completed or are in the final stages of verification of candidates registered. The process of appointing markers commenced in all provincial departments of education and for the first time, Umalusi monitored the appointment of markers. We took part in KwaZulu-Natal, Free State, Limpopo and Northern Cape,” Naidoo said. –

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