Gauteng Department of Education ready for final matric exams

Gauteng MEC for Education Panyaza Lesufi says Umalusi and the Department of Basic Education evaluated the Gauteng Department of Education's state of readiness between August 31 and September 1 and are satisfied that the province is ready to conduct the final NSC exams.

The Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) has stated it is ready to conduct the examinations and ensure that it proceeds without major irregularities.

These examinations will be conducted in 881 exam centres across Gauteng.

A total of 150 090 candidates have enrolled to write the exams, including 108 594 full-time and 41 496 part-time candidates.

According to the Department of Education, this will mark the 10th anniversary since the inception of the National Senior Certificate (NSC).

The Minister of Basic Education will release the results on January 4, 2018, and MECs for Education will release provincial results on January 5, 2018.

The Gauteng MEC for Education, Panyaza Lesufi, said: “We plan to improve our performance compared to the 2016 results and this year the number of progressed learners in 2017 stands at 12 927. Gauteng remains one of the provinces with the highest number of enrolments for the NSC in the country.

“It is also the only province that offers candidates all 11 official languages and several foreign languages.”

According to the education department a number of steps are undertaken to prepare for the examination which are:

· Preparation of learners: In the first instance the department emphasised the need for educators to cover as much of the curriculum during normal contact time. Supplementary and extra lessons were also provided in the form of the secondary School Improvement Programme (SSIP).

The SSIP programme was implemented over weekends and during school holidays catering to 72 000 learners and covering 10 subjects.

The next phase is to conduct the SSIP programme during the period of September 29 to October 22 and conduct camp sessions, residential holiday camps and walk-in camps. Subject advisors conducted content workshops to support teachers in underperforming schools in the first quarter of the current school year

· Training of invigilators, monitoring staff and markers: Chief invigilators were appointed and their training took place from August 1 to 15. Monitoring teams will be appointed and trained from October 15. A total of 9286 marking personnel will be appointed. The marking of papers will start from November 29 to December 14.

· Printing and security of question papers: The printing of question papers for 92 subjects started on August 1 and will be completed on November 1.

Relevant measures have been put in place to distribute and secure the question papers and this includes work with all security agencies to secure the question papers.

“We wish the class of 2017 all the best and hope they will make us proud. We call on all parents, guardians and members of the community to support the learners and give them the space to study and prepare for the exams.

“In addition, we urge communities to protect schools during protests especially during the exam times,” said Lesufi.

Learners who need professional assistance or counselling can contact Child Care on their toll-free line at 0800 055 555 or Childline Gauteng on 011 645 2000 (during business hours).

Ntombikayise Sibeko

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