Pretoria - The first week of matric examinations proceeded smoothly in all nine provinces, says spokesperson for the Department of Basic Education, Dr Granville Whittle.
This week saw almost 600 000 matriculants writing their first National Senior Certificate (NSC) exams, while Further Education Training (FET) Colleges and Adult Basic Education and Training (ABET) facilities also started with their exams.
Whittle said while 29 irregularities were reported across all three sectors, most had been of an administrative nature like candidates not registered to write.
He said that minor behavioural problems were also reported including isolated acts of dishonesty relating to copying and a few cases of power outages which in most cases were managed appropriately.
"From the reports received, the action taken to address each irregularity was appropriate and facilitated the completion of each examination writing session. The irregularities did not jeopardise the integrity of the national examinations," Whittle noted.
In the Eastern Cape, 21 candidates could not write their exams because heavy rains had made the Mkambathi Adult Centre inaccessible, despite attempts by the province to deliver the question papers.
Whittle said the department would further investigate the matter and candidates would be given another opportunity to write the examination.
On Friday morning, learners sat for a two-hour Afrikaans Home Language Paper 1 and second additional language Paper 1. This afternoon they were expected to write a two and half hour language paper in either German or Portuguese.
The exams will end on 4 December 2009 and results will be released on 7 January 2009.