Smooth first week of 2015 matric exams

OCTOBER 30, 2015

With the first week of National Senior Certificate examinations done and dusted, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has called on the Class of 2015 to sustain the momentum.

Parents have also been urged to ensure learners receive the necessary support, eat correctly and rest adequately.

The 2015 final examinations kicked off on Monday with 710 870 candidates sitting for the first English paper.

Updating the media on the first week of the exams on Friday, Minister Motshekga said comments from teachers and learners had so far been positive.

“Comments about the standard of the question paper have been positive, with candidates indicating that the paper was fair,” said the Minister, hopeful that this year’s matrics will do the country proud.

She encouraged learners to plan their study timetable wisely and to make sure they follow it correctly.

“It is important that they check and double check with classmates and their school that they are preparing for the right paper.”

The Minister appealed to learners not to be tempted in any way to do anything that would compromise themselves or the examination and to report any irregularity to their parents or teachers.

A national hotline and provincial hotlines have been set up where learners and parents can report anything that appears suspicious. The national call centre number is 0800 202 933.

“Examination credibility and integrity is the supreme goal in this and all examination processes,” said Minister Motshekga.

The department has put in place strategies to strengthen the administration of the examinations. These include the categorisation of centres based on their risk profile, the intensification of invigilator training and the standardisation of procedures across centres.

“Our initial monitoring reports indicate that the examinations are being conducted in accordance with the national invigilator manual and there is a high degree of vigilance and alertness across the system.”

The exams are being administered across 6 797 examination centres in the country, with 65 000 invigilators and 49 900 markers.

A total of 801 688 matriculants are registered for the exams – which is the highest number of pupils who have enrolled for the exams since 1994. Of these, 674 232 are full-time candidates and 127 456 are part-time candidates.

The department has also already appointed and trained markers across all nine provinces.

Their first national marking guideline discussions have commenced.

This process, Minister Motshekga said, will see a total of 130 national meetings being hosted, where chief markers and internal moderators from all provinces will assemble to thrash out the marking guidelines to ensure that a common understanding is reached in this regard.

This will equip them to ensure a standardised marking approach across the 121 marking centres.

Regarding the service delivery protests in certain communities, the Minister said they had put in place measures to ensure exams are not disrupted. Protests were reported in the Western Cape, Limpopo and KwaZulu-Natal.

In the Western Cape, candidates have been relocated to another area where they have been accommodated for the week.

“My staff and the provincial examination teams are working full steam to ensure that nothing will interrupt the smooth flow of the examinations,” she said.

The department plans to ensure that all results are available at schools on the morning of 6 January 2016. The Minister will announce the results on 5 January 2016.