Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said on Sunday the department has enhanced security measures to prevent paper leaks in all nine provinces as Grade 12s prepare to start writing their 2023 exams from Monday.
Briefing the media in Tshwane ahead of the exams Motshekga said the State Security Agency (SSA) has also audited all security enhancement processes.
“Provincial Education Departments (PEDs) must follow standard operating procedures training storage point managers in security protocols. Moreover, specific collection times for question papers by chief invigilators have been established to deter early access. Each PED has its own irregularity committee to anticipate and mitigate the crisis,” she said.
Motshekga also said all PEDs and schools have devised contingency plans, including backup generators to mitigate challenges of load shedding that has been brought to Stage 2 from Sunday.
The Computer Applications Technology (CAT) and Information Technology (IT) Paper 1 examinations were conducted this week without power issues, with isolated incidents, she said, adding that the affected candidates were isolated and managed.
If there were power interruptions Motshekga said the DBE will offer a backup paper if needed.
“In South African Sign Language Home Language (SASL HL), candidates’ laptops will be fully charged before each examination commences, and backup power supply measures have been put in place”.
Over 717 377 candidates have registered to participate in the final examinations across 6,898 centres nationwide.
Motshekga said the figures are not mere statistics; they embody the aspirations, dreams, and relentless efforts of Grade 12 learners.
“They stand as a testament to the resilience of our students and the continuous dedication of the Department of Basic Education in providing them with a platform to succeed.
“When we compare this year’s figures to 2022, we observe a gradual decrease in the number of candidates, 34,626 candidates, and this could be attributed to the fact that more candidates complete their qualifications on time,” she said.
There has been an increase in the number of part-time learners from 168 631 in 2022 to 181 143 in 2023 (an increase of 12 512).
A total of 207 question papers, 72 500 invigilators and 52 500 markers will drive the examinations process.
The quality assurance body Umalusi has approved all question papers to be administered in the 2023 Examinations and given the nod to the exams.
Motshekga will on Monday monitor the first day of the 2023 matric examinations in Ekurhuleni, Gauteng and will be joined by Gauteng Education MEC Matome Chiloane.