Countdown to 2018 matric exams

Monday, September 17, 2018

With just 34 days to go until the 2018 National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations, the Basic Education Department (DBE) says it is expecting at least 787 281 learners to sit for this year’s exams.

Learners will from 15 October 2018 enter one of the 8000 examination centres around the country to write their exams.

“The National Senior Certificate examinations are now just 34 days away. This is essentially one month, give or take a few days, before the examinations are underway.

“We would like to encourage all learners who are going to be writing these examinations to ensure that they study with earnest in this remaining time,” said Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga.

The Minister was speaking at a media briefing, held to update the public on the outcomes of the Council of Education Ministers (CEM) meeting, which convened on Thursday.

Exam readiness

In terms of system readiness, Motshekga said her department was closely tracking each of the nine provinces in terms of learner performance data and curriculum coverage, as well as other areas of interest, extremely closely.

“This is to ensure that we can pick up challenges in areas such as curriculum coverage in time, to intervene.

“As a sector, we are becoming much more empirical about the way we monitor the system. DBE and provinces continue to harness efforts to appropriately support the class of 2018. Every learner must be afforded the best possible opportunity to achieve a National Senior Certificate,” said the Minister.

Motshekga said last push initiatives are being implemented across the country based on learner performance in the midyear examinations.

“As a sector we are cautiously optimistic that all of these efforts will translate into improved outcomes in the 2018 examinations,” she said.

Additional examination opportunity

The department also announced that from 2019, supplementary exams will no longer take place in March - but rather in June.

“One of the major reasons for this change is through monitoring the system, we have noted that on average around 40 000 learners who enrol for supplementary examinations every year do not turn up to write the examinations. This results in massive wasteful expenditure,” said Motshekga.

By having these examinations in June, the department said it will give adequate time for revision, and learners can make use of the comprehensive support material provided through the Second Chance Matric Support Programme.

“This second examination is very important as those who do participate often end up doing well,” said the Minister.

According to the department, the supplementary exams are bearing fruit as seen with the increase in learners who obtained the NSC exams.

In 2018, learners who wrote the supplementary exam and obtained the NSC increased from 401 435 to 411 523, an increase of 10 088 candidates.

“These are learners who would otherwise not have had a matric certificate,” said Motshekga.

The total number of candidates that obtained the Higher Certificate has increased from 86 265 to 92 604, an increase of 6 339 candidates.

The number of candidates who obtained admission to Diploma studies increased from 161 333 to 163 702, which is an additional 2 369 candidates.

The number of candidates that obtained admission to Bachelor’s studies has increased from 153 610 to 154 980, translating to 1 370 more candidates compared to the November 2017 NSC examination results.

“We are very optimistic that we will see improvements on these figures when we have the June examination opportunity,” said Motshekga.

Home Affairs protocols

As part of its preparations, Motshekga said her department will work closely with the Department of Home Affairs to ensure that all learners are correctly documented.

“We need to all ensure that learners have Identity Documents (IDs) for a number of reasons. Among them, learners who write examinations without Identity Documents often have problems after, and Umalusi will not certificate learners who do not have IDs,” said the Minister. –