Polokwane - Limpopo matriculants have been encouraged to use the little time that remains to prepare properly for their final exams.
"They need to dedicate their time and effort to learning and studying, it is time for them to burn the midnight oil, sweat for now and great joy will follow when the results are released," said MEC for Education in Limpopo, Dickson Masemola on Tuesday.
A total of 101 285 learners from the province will make up the 588 000 national candidates registered to sit for the matric final examination which will start on 26 October 2009.
The class of 2009 is the second group of matriculants to write their exams based on the National Curriculum Statement (NSC), which was effectively phased in to all grades last year.
During last year's exams, Limpopo achieved less than the national average pass rate. The provincial pass rate dropped from 57 percent in 2007 to 54 percent in 2008.
Masemola said a number of intervention strategies were put in place to support learners in the last year as part of efforts to improve learner performance in schools.
Apart from winter classes, the department developed study guides for difficult areas experienced by learners, these include Mathematics, Mathematical Literacy, Physical Science, Life Sciences, Agricultural science and all Technology subjects.
"The study guides were developed and distributed to all schools to assist educators to effectively teach learners and currently, curriculum advisors in the mentioned subjects are visiting schools especially schools with high enrolment figure and poor performing ones," he said.
The National Department of Education further organized training for all curriculum advisors to increase their content knowledge in all NSC subjects, the training was cascaded to Head of Departments (HODs) of schools to empower them to assess and monitor the correct teaching of the subjects.
"All our principals, especially principals of poor performing schools underwent training on how to manage and monitor the teaching of the new curriculum, the idea is for principals to assist both HOD's and teachers in instances where they experience challenges," said Masemola.
The exams will end on 4 December 2009 and the results will be released on 7 January 2010.
Masemola said the extended time will give the province more time to confirm the results.
"It will allow more time to double check, quality assure and ensure that correct results are released," he said.