Matric exams progressing well

Friday, November 22, 2013

Pretoria - With matric exams concluding next week, no major incidents have been reported and marking has started in some provinces, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said on Friday.

“The matric examinations are currently on-going and we are happy to report that thus far, this year’s National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations have seen no major incidents. The exams will be finalised by the end of the month and we continue to wish our matriculants well,” said the minister.

In an update of the basic education sector, Motshekga said some of the reports of incidents received by her office over the course of the matric exams included pupils falling sick, the tremor that hit Johannesburg on Monday, as well as a pupil going into the exams with a cell phone.

Marking has already begun in Limpopo and Gauteng will follow, while all other provinces will begin marking exam papers by 1 December 2013.

Mpumalanga, which in the past has been beset with the issue of exam papers being leaked, has now resolved the problem.

“It did help that at some stage we took the powers from Mpumalanga … they are now in a state of perfection. They have the best run system. Before the exams, I visited the province and their security features are extremely impressive. We are using them as a benchmark when assessing other provinces,” said the minister.

Following protest action in Bekkersdal in October, matriculants in the area were moved to a special residential camp outside the community so as to ensure that they write their exams without disruption.

Even though the learners were writing at an unregistered centre, the minister was receiving updates from the centre. “I’ve been getting reports that it’s going well,” she said.

Furthermore, a task team has been appointed to look at aspects of the NSC, including the publishing of results in newspapers.  The team will report back to the minister in April 2014.

In the meantime, the minister will hold meetings with the Young Communist League and Congress of South African Students (Cosas), who have raised concerns about processes.

Matric results will be released on 6 January 2014.

On what she anticipates will be the pass rate for the class of 2013, Motshekga said: “I don’t want to predict [that].”

The class of 2012 achieved a 73.9% pass rate.

Turning to the Accelerated Schools Infrastructure Delivery Initiative (ASIDI), she said the programme continued to make progress in eradicating schools built from inappropriate structures.

Deputy Minister Enver Surty was today handing over the 18th school in the One School a Week programme. -