Department of Basic Education spokesperson, Elijah Mhlanga, says areas mostly affected by load shedding on Wednesday were in Gauteng, KwaZulu- Natal and the Western Cape, where large numbers of learners were sitting for the Computer Application Technology exam.
Mhlanga added that the DBE is worried about today’s examination, where most of the subjects under examination, such as Information Technology, will require electricity.
He said they are in discussions with Eskom to convey the Department’s concerns and to seek solutions.
Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi says its clear that stage 2 of Eskom’s load shedding cycle had badly affected the start of the Matric examinations in the province.
The MEC provided a breakdown of the centres affected while reassuring that learners who missed their exams, or were affected by the blackouts, will be given an opportunity to write a backup paper on a soon to be announced date.
He said 36 centres were affected by the power cuts, and three centres were unable to save candidates work.
Gauteng education spokesperson Steve Mabona said: “It’s quite unfortunate that we were severely affected, and we hope today as we’re writing information technology, we’ll be given an opportunity to proceed with our examination. To learners, they should focus on and write what they know.”
Ronald Nyathi responded on Facebook: “This is Not Good Leadership ! The Kids went to hell n back Preparing for their Exams only to be let Down like this.”
And Zaza Sizane said, “Its difficult Mr MEC for a child who is not used to studying by using a candle to be able to study.”
The Western Cape Department of Education (WECD) said measures are in place to deal with load shedding while matriculants write their final exams, adding that more than 30 out of the province’s 274 exam venues were affected.
The WCED said that they are in constant communication with all the schools via their subject advisors to ensure that the exam is managed in consistent manner.
“Our priority is to ensure that learners are not further disadvantaged as a result of these cuts.”