KZN ready for matric exams

Sunday, October 13, 2013

By Bhekisisa Mncube

Durban – The newly appointed KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Education, Peggy Nkonyeni, says schools around the province are ready to administer the 2013 National Senior Certificate (NSC) exams.

“The province is ready to conduct the 2013 NSC examinations,” she said on Saturday at a briefing on the state of readiness for matric exams.

She commended educators and parents for their commitment and dedication in supporting learners during the 2013 academic year.

“As we continue the countdown, we want to assure the people of KwaZulu-Natal that our government has done everything that is required to run a credible examination process… The goal is to present an irregularity free examination process,” the MEC said.

Matric exams will officially commence on 28 October and conclude at the end of November.

The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education boasts the largest number of matric learners, with 150 061 fulltime candidates enrolled to write the NSC examinations.

“This represents an increase of 17 558 learners compared to 132 503 learners in 2012,” Nkonyeni said.  

In addition, there are 24 733 candidates who have enrolled on a part-time basis.

Nkonyeni said there has been an upward trend in enrolment for the past five years.

“The notable increase in the number of learners enrolling for the NSC examinations year-on-year bears testimony to an education system that is increasing access to learners, as well as ensuring that we increase retention of learners in the system.”

The department has accredited 1 733 centres to conduct the administration of the NSC exams across the province. The highest number of examination centres is located in the Uthungulu (194) and Zululand (201) districts.

The department has appointed 8 426 markers, 1 610 senior markers, 209 deputy chief markers and 79 chief markers. There will be 27 marking centres for the whole province. 

Improvement expected in results

The MEC said she was hopeful that the province will do better than last year.

“At the beginning of the 2013 school year, my predecessor in the portfolio of education, Premier Senzo Mchunu, introduced a special project called Operation Scaffold,” she said.

According to the MEC, the purpose of the programme was to ensure that all schools in the province with a pass rate of 35% and below in the NSC examinations are eradicated in the province.

“This programme focused on supporting these schools by ensuring that they improve their performance, thereby improving opportunities for their learners to achieve,” she said.

Nkonyeni said the reports received so far have demonstrated good progress during the year, which the department hopes will contribute to the improvement learner performance.

She said the department carried out targeted interventions that were directed at Grade 12 learners. The programme began in June 2013, when the department ran a dedicated learner camps programme. The programme was targeted at learners in schools that had recorded a below 60% pass rate. It focused on specific subjects that have proven to be problematic, especially maths and science.

“The matric intervention programme continued in all schools during the spring school holidays and will run up to the writing of the NSC examinations,” Nkonyeni said. –