High hopes for Free States matriculants

Thursday, October 8, 2009
By: 
Gabi Khumalo

Bloemfontein - The Free State Department of Education is hoping to achieve nothing less than a 75 percent matric pass rate during this year's final examination.

The province has set this target based on the 71.8 percent pass rate achieved last year, when matrics wrote exams based on the National Curriculum Statement.

"We have undertaken to deliver the most credible exams this province has ever seen and our recent visits to various schools in the province have confirmed our readiness for the 2009 exams," an optimistic MEC for Education, Tate Makgoe said.

About 30 554 full time learners and 914 part time repeating provincial candidates will sit for the 2009 matric exams, scheduled to commence on 26 October.

Makgoe said the 318 examination centres across the province were prepared and systems had been developed to ensure that exam scripts were delivered on time to all the districts

"All efforts have been made for learners to write a correct paper at the right time and strict security measures have been crafted to ensure not only the credibility of the exams but also the physical and psychological wellbeing of the learners and teachers," he said.

Makgoe assured that tight security measures had been put in place by the department to prevent irregularities and possible leakages of the examination question papers.

"We will adequately respond to any potential crisis and other security related incidents, he said, adding that invigilators have also been trained to respond to any challenges they might encounter.

This year, the department developed a provincial strategy to improve the National Senior Certificate results in response to the 80 schools which achieves a pass rate of below 60 percent in 2008.

The department established extra classes during the Easter and winter school holidays and encouraged schools to initiate extra classes on their own, where they identified the subjects that needed extra support, grouped themselves in clusters and identified educators to facilitate.