Marking of matric papers underway

Thursday, November 30, 2017
More Matshediso

The marking of more than 10 million learner answer sheets at 144 marking centres across the country is currently underway, says Basic Education Director-General Mathanzima Mweli.

Speaking during a Social Protection, Community and Human Development Cluster media briefing on Thursday in Tshwane, Mweli said the 44 911 markers are set to complete the marking process by 15 December.

The marking process will be followed by data capturing and the UMALUSI standardisation and approval processes.

The National Senior Certificate (NSC) results will be announced by Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga, on 4 January 2018.

“We do hope that the Class of 2017 will bring us some good news at the start of the New Year,” said Mweli.

The Class of 2017 sat for their last paper on Tuesday, with no major incidents disrupting the examinations.

Mweli expressed gratitude to all learners, teachers and officials who worked tirelessly throughout the year to ensure that candidates were prepared and that the integrity of the NSC Examinations was upheld throughout.

This year, the department placed increased emphasis on security and the protection of the integrity of the NSC examinations.

This was done to mitigate the impact of anticipated risks associated with the storage and movement of examination scripts.

2018 school readiness, textbooks

Mweli said the department is looking at its readiness for the beginning of the 2018 school year.

“We have received reports from provinces on a number of the key focus areas that we monitor as the DBE in preparation for the new academic year.”

With regards to ensuring that the provision of Learning and Teaching Support Material (LTSM) is efficient, Mweli said the department is monitoring it closely to ensure that provinces are meeting their obligations to learners.

“Some of the challenges of every new school year is to ensure that the number of learners and the number of textbooks match.

“This requires that top ups of textbooks is managed, extremely carefully. All provinces have reported that orders for top up of textbooks for the 2018 year have been placed and deliveries have already commenced in all provinces.”

New textbooks

The department has introduced new literature textbooks for Grade 12 this year, and provinces were urged to pay particular attention to ensure that adequate top ups were done with regards to these books.

Provinces were requested to pay particular attention to the provisioning of braille and sign language LTSM.

“Sign language will be written as a Grade 12 subject for the first time in 2018 and it is important that provinces ensure that those learners are equipped with the requisite LTSM.

“With regard to the workbooks that the DBE developed, we have completed the Printing of Volume 1 and Grade R for the 2018 school year. A total number of 27 835 865 Grades 1-9 workbooks will be delivered to 23 061 schools and a total number of 4 307 080 Grade R workbooks were delivered to 16 225 schools.

“As at 14 September, the printing of volume 2 was at 96%. The delivery commenced on 9 October 2017 and should be completed by 6 December 2017.”

School admissions

Mweli said Grade 1 and Grade 8 pose the biggest challenges for learner placement and Gauteng is facing the largest influx of learners, with over 40 000 Grade 1s and over 40 000 Grade 8s still waiting to be placed as of the beginning of this month.

“The situation is being updated regularly.”

The common challenge across all provinces is that the schools of choice are receiving far more applications than they can accommodate.

Mweli said parents are refusing to accept that one school cannot place all applicants and that alternative schools should be considered.

He said the admission of non-citizens continues to be a pressure point as the Department of Home Affairs is struggling with the large numbers of applications for citizenship.

However, he said both department continue to work closely to address the challenge.

“The provinces will continue to place learners in schools, however, the parent’s first choice of school may not be available… we will ensure that we provide every child with a place as is in line with their constitutional right to basic education.”

School Vacancies

Mweli also underscored the importance of ensuring that all classes have the relevant teacher in front of the class at the beginning of the year.

He said the Council of Education Ministers recently received a full report on the filling of vacant teacher and promotional posts in the system.

The department monitors the filling of posts in the Provincial Education Departments on a quarterly basis.

He encouraged the Provincial Education Departments to start with the planning processes that would ensure that all 2017/2018 Funza Lushaka graduates are immediately absorbed into vacant teaching posts.

“This not only fulfils the NDP objective but also ensures that there is a qualified teacher teaching priority subjects.”

He reiterated that the department will wrap 2017 up by ensuring that it is ready for 2018. -