All nine provinces are ready for the upcoming 2017 matric examinations, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said on Friday.
Addressing a media briefing in Pretoria, Motshekga said a total of 636 814 full-time Grade 12 learners and 161 475 part-time candidates have already been registered to sit for exams by her department.
“KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng have the largest enrolments again with 169 023 and 112 164 respectively. Limpopo has 110 639 while Eastern Cape registered 92 755 candidates for the 2017 exams” Motsekga.
“The Department has been working tirelessly to ensure that the examinations are up to standard and that this year there are no irregularities. Registration of NSC Examinations Centres and candidates has been completed and final verification of the data is currently underway. Question papers have been set and externally moderated.”
She said her department has made interventions to ensure that there are no leaks of any examination papers.
“To avert leakage of 2017 question papers, all 212 storage points across the country have been audited to ensure compliance with the minimum-security standards. Storage points that do not comply will not be allowed to store question papers,” she said.
Motsekga said the department has also been tracking learner performance throughout the year, in order to identify learners who have been struggling and therefore offer them support.
“One of the things we have been looking at more closely as a sector, and one of the focal points of the Departments provincial visits was the tracking of learner performance throughout the year. We are now looking at how learners have performed in the mid-year examinations and providing specific support for struggling learners. Some provinces have done better than others in this respect but the meeting resolved that as we prepare for the last push before the examinations, provinces will focus on ensuring they provide adequate support to learners,” she said.
“The review session conducted by the DBE in each of the nine PEDs has confirmed the following – Provinces are doing their best to give attention to the issues raised in previous reports. However budgetary constraints are a limiting factor. Monitoring capacity in a number of PEDs is constrained by funding. Independent centres that are not accredited have to be managed by the PED and this is placing a strain on some Provincial Departments, this has been identified as a risk that needs to be attended to.”
Based on the support and intervention provided, Motshekga said she was confident that the class of 2017 will be ready when exams begin next month.
“We are pleased to report we too are ready for the National Senior Certificate examinations from a systems perspective, so it is all systems go,” said Motshekga.
Exams are expected to begin on October 24 until November 29.