Committee chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Basic Education, Bongiwe Mbinqo-Gigaba applauded the Department on the work it has done to make sure all grade 12 learners are ready to write the final exam.
“We further note that 1 058 699 candidates have registered for the exams. This includes full-time and part-time candidates, as well as those candidates who were supposed to have written examinations in June this year, which were cancelled due to the outbreak of COVID-19. This is a mammoth task,” said Mbinqo-Gigaba.
During a portfolio meeting, Mbinqo-Gigaba said the Department of Basic Education and Umalusi assured them that the class of 2020 has managed to cover the full curriculum ahead of exams.
Umalusi is the quality assurance body that makes sure that the final matric exams are up to standard.
Most provincial education departments (PEDs) have hired extra markers and invigilators to cope with the high number of candidates expected to write this year.
“Based on our observation and the reports on the state of readiness, Umalusi is satisfied that the department, through the nine PEDs, is ready to conduct the merged June and November 2020 examinations,” Umalusi assured the committee.
Earlier this year, Umalusi CEO, Mafu Rakometsi said Umalusi would not cut down on the amount of content that learners will be tested on in the NSC exam.
“Umalusi, as a quality assurance body does not advocate for the downgrading or trimming down of the quality of examinations. In particular, tinkering with the content of question papers, we do not support that line of thinking”
John Volmink, Umalusi Council Chairperson, said the exams took 18 months to set and it would take 18 more months for Umalusi to reset the exams.
Volmink said Umalusi could not afford to reset the exams in just a few months for the matric class of 2020.
The Portfolio Committee on Basic Education has raised concerns about a decrease in the number of learners registering for mathematics.
Learners have been opting for mathematical literacy instead of mathematics.
The department has partly blamed the introduction of technical mathematics and technical physical science for the drop in learners registering for pure mathematics.
Mbinqo-Gigaba said this could affect learners when they have to apply for a place at higher education institutions.
Learners will receive their results on 23 February 2021.
The more you understand yourself, the more silence there is, the healthier you are. —Maxime Lagacé