The Covid-19 pandemic made it an exceptionally challenging for matrics as schooling was heavily affected by lockdown conditions and regulations. Picture: African News Agency
The Covid-19 pandemic made it an exceptionally challenging for matrics as schooling was heavily affected by lockdown conditions and regulations. Picture: African News Agency

All systems go for matrics to begin writing their final exams

By Sisonke Mlamla Time of article published Oct 25, 2021

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Cape Town - It is all systems go for the sitting of this year’s cohort of matrics for their final exams – the second group to sit under Covid-19 conditions.

More than 73 900 candidates will write, which includes 59 849 full time candidates, and 14 117 part-time candidates, and it shows an increase from the 54 741 full time and 10 588 part time candidates who wrote last year in November.

However, the total number of candidates writing in that session last year was much higher – nearly 100 000 – because it included the senior certificate and supplementary exam candidates from the cancelled June 2020 exams.

The first exams to be written would be English Home Language, English First Additional Language and English Second Additional Language, with a total of 63 202 learners expected to write in the morning session on Wednesday.

Education MEC Debbie Schäfer said Mathematical Literacy was the subject with the largest number of candidates this year, with 48 658 candidates writing Paper 1 on November 5, and Paper 2 on November 8.

“Three subjects have just one candidate writing: Sepedi Home Language, isiZulu Home Language, and IsiZulu First Additional Language,” said Schäfer.

Education Minister Angie Motshekga recently revealed that 735 677 learners were expected to sit for their final Grade 12 exam in 2021.

She said all nine provinces have indicated their state of readiness and it was all-systems-go for exams in the second year of Covid-19-affected exams.

Schäfer said exams would be written at 486 exam centres, with 1 887 invigilators appointed in the province, and that more than 3 300 markers would mark 890 000 exam scripts at 11 marking centres.

“Marking will take place between December 9 and 22. Motshekga will announce the results on January 20, and individual results will be available at schools on January 21,” she said.

ANC provincial spokesperson on education Khalid Sayed said those from under-resourced schools were in their hearts and minds during this time.

Parliament’s portfolio committee on Education and Technology, Sports, Arts and Culture, chairperson Elleck Nchabeleng, said the department’s work has been commendable, given the uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, which has made planning difficult.

Nchabeleng said it has also hampered the committee’s monitoring work, but nonetheless it appreciated what the department has been able to report.

SA Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) general secretary Mugwena Maluleke urged the department to ensure that the examination centres comply with safety regulations.

Maluleke said although the country is at lockdown level 1 and infection rates were subsiding, that should not lead to a lull and cause both learners and invigilators not to observe safety regulations in the exam centres.

The counselling psychologist and head of campus at SA College of Applied Psychology, Jogini Packery, said there was a lot that parents could do to promote conducive conditions for their child to study well and perform optimally in the exams.

Packery said they could champion their child’s self-care by facilitating home life so that they could eat healthily, keep physically active and get sufficient sleep.

“They can make it clear that they are there for support, open to talking through anxieties and roadblocks – or helping their child access professional support if that’s necessary.”

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Cape Argus

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