The NSC examinations commenced on 5 November and the matric class of 2020, is the largest group to ever enter these final exams with 1 058 699 candidates.
According to a media release by the Basic Education Department, they are satisfied with the progress of the matric examinations across the country.
All provinces have “generally proceeded well” except for the western cape where protests were held at Brackenfell High School following an incidence of racism brought about by an alleged ‘whites-only’ event.
The Department is still collecting accurate data on whether all learners at schools in this province wrote the examination and will share this information within the next week.
93 candidates in total tested positive for the coronavirus.
The Eastern Cape had 53, the Free State had 23, Western Cape 10 and Gauteng had 7 cases.
The Department of Basic Education are concerned about the high numbers present in the Eastern Cape and Free State. 19 different schools in the Eastern Cape made up the 53 cases, coming from areas in Port Elizabeth, East London and Graaff Reinet.
Students who present with temperatures about 38˚C or test positive may write the examination/s in controlled isolation rooms at their exam centres, but are expected steer clear of socialising with their peers and will be referred for medical attention.
The Department emphasizes that parents/guardians of candidates that have tested positive for the coronavirus must contact the school principal immediately to inform them of this. Neglecting to do this will see them facing legal action.
17 students in the Free State from the Motheo district have completed their period of isolation and have returned to their schools. 23 learners that wrote an exam on 13 November from Lejweleputswa district are currently based at a quarantine site.
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga advised:
“As we prepare for the start of the third week I wish the candidates success in their efforts. I appeal to all candidates to stay home and study, avoid parties and all risky behaviours that may endanger their health. Everyone must remember to wear their mask when leaving home, to sanitize their hands regularly and to observe physical distancing. This will help avoid infection.”
Many students found themselves anxious for these final exams due to the disruptions caused by the pandemic, however Motshekga says candidates can access revision on the WOZA Matric broadcasts via the SABC 1 channel on TV to prepare for exams. She advised that candidates continue making use of past question papers when doing revision.
Candidates are discouraged against cheating or disrupting the exam processes and the department is appealing to parents to help communicate this message of integrity. This comes after a few candidates have been found dishonouring the pledge they sign before writing their exams.
For those students who are unsure about what their results may look like and want to improve them, the registration and time-table for the rewrite of the examination is now available.
The more you understand yourself, the more silence there is, the healthier you are. —Maxime Lagacé