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Marking of matric papers progressing well ahead of the Friday deadline

Thabo Mohlala

Matric exam marking is going as planned and markers will meet the Friday deadline.

This is according to the department of basic education’s spokesperson, Elijah Mhlanga. The completion of the 2017 final examinations marked the beginning of another crucial stage of marking the scripts of just under 800 000 candidates.

Mhlanga said the “marking is progressing well” adding that the entire process was scheduled to take 10 days. The department assembled 44 911 markers to mark about 11 answer sheets in 6 844 centres across the nine provinces to make this possible.

He said once the scripts were marked they would immediately collate the data. This will then be passed on to Umalusi, Council for Quality Assurance in General and Further Education and Training to verify the marks and statistically moderate the final results.

The quality assurer gave the thumbs up to proceed with the final examinations. Umalusi said it is part of its key mandate to get involved at every stage during the conduct and administration of matric exams. This will ensure it applies rigorous quality assurance methods to gauge the level of readiness of the assessment bodies to administer fair and credible examinations without systematic irregularities. This also involves moderating and approving examination papers even before they can be written by the learners.

The 2017 matric finals took place without any reported incidences of leaked papers. Last year there was a reported incident of paper leakage in Limpopo. Umalusi attributes the lack of paper leakage to improved security and tightening of systems by the provinces. The lack of cheating and other irregularities, according to Umalusi, enhances the credibility and integrity of the national senior certificate.

Basic education minister, Angie Motshekga, will officially announce the final matric pass rate on January 04, 2018 at SABC – a day before the Independent Examinations Board releases its own results.

This year the Free State education department produced high pass rate beating both Gauteng and the Western Cape provinces, which used to consistently perform better.

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