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Johannesburg - Umalusi is ready for about 707 136 matric pupils to write the end of year examinations, CEO Mafu Rakometsi said on Monday.
“I can report to you that our system is ready for the 2013 final examinations,” he told reporters in Johannesburg.
“Every year, this goalpost will shift as our processes become even more refined and our quality checks become even more stringent.”
Rakometsi was briefing the media on the Council for Quality Assurance in General and Further Education and Training's readiness for the 2013 examinations for all grades.
He said that even though the focus was on the matric exams, a similar process was followed for all other exams.
The system was “not perfect”, but every year Umalusi strove to improve it and to fill any gaps, Rakometsi said.
All systems were ready and it was a “mammoth task” to ensure that the system was ready to assess such a large volume of pupils in so many examination centres throughout all nine provinces.
“Every year, we strive to improve our systems so that we can continue to close down any gaps or spaces,” he said.
“Needless to say, our procedures and systems compete favourably in the world. Umalusi can stand before the nation and tell them with confidence that our schooling examination system is ready to take on this challenge and we are confident of success.”
He said Umalusi was confident because of the “intense scrutiny” of each of the steps to ensuring successful exams.
The National Senior Certificate, written by Grade 12 pupils, would take place at more than 6699 examination centres, would be overseen by about 65 000 invigilators, and marked by over 35 000 markers in the 118 marking centres across the country.
Umalusi is also responsible for quality assuring the General Education and Training Certificate for adults, and the National Certificate Vocational.
He said Umalusi was satisfied with the preparations for the end-of-year exams, and was confident that the general education system was adequately prepared to successfully run these assessments.
Among its concerns were the status of the education departments in Limpopo and the Eastern Cape. Both provinces are under administration.
Umalusi has recommended to the basic education department to monitor the provinces intensively to mitigate possible unintended consequences of this situation.
“For its part, Umalusi will also intensify its monitoring where it deems it necessary to do so,” he said.
Vacant posts in provincial education departments would also cause additional strain, he said.
Umalusi is a statutory body that monitors and improves the quality of general and further education in the country.
It also monitors and moderates pupil achievements, and evaluates whether education and training providers have the capacity to deliver and assess qualifications and learning programmes.
Umalusi acting COO Vijayen Naidoo said the target of approving 130 examination papers had been reached.
“All question papers have been approved,” Naidoo said.
All necessary security measures were also in place.