Western Cape MEC of Education, Debbie Schafer visits the secretly located vault that holds all the matric exam papers. Picture: Armand Hough /African News Agency(ANA)
Cape Town - Education MEC Debbie Schäfer has visited the vault where the exam papers for the National Senior Certificate (NSC) are stored.

“We have prepared for the NSC exams under extremely tight security to ensure nobody has access to them before the day of the exam. All our officials are screened carefully to ensure they have the right clearances. They aren’t allowed to take cellphones or any devices into the vault, and all our facilities are monitored by cameras.

“And of course, we do have a smart locking system on our papers as well when they’re sent to the venues to ensure people can’t open them before the exam starts,” Schäfer said.”

Schäfer said the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) supported independent schools because they had a vital role to play in the education system.

“The Independent Examinations Board is also part of Umalusi, so the WCED is not afraid of competition from them,” she said.

On Wednesday, Grade 12 pupils wrote the practical element of their computer applications technology (CAT) exam as the country experienced Stage 2 load shedding.

Western Cape MEC of Education, Debbie Schafer visits the secretly located vault that holds all the matric exam papers. Picture: Armand Hough /African News Agency(ANA)
Education MEC, Debbie Schafer visits the secretly located vault that holds all the matric exam papers. Picture: Armand Hough /African News Agency(ANA)

WCED spokesperson Bronagh Hammond said: “Despite contingency measures being put in place, and assurances from Eskom, we were unfortunately informed at the last minute that load shedding was to take place across the country.

“Our exams team immediately liaised with the various district offices to inform them of the warning of load shedding, and requested that existing protocols for electricity shortages during a computer applications technology exam be put in place, which include ensuring no learners leave the examination venue should the electricity cut out, and they are instead quarantined until electricity resumes and technical assistance is provided,” she said.

Hammond said pupils who had started the exam would continue where they left off when the electricity came back on.

“There’s an automatic save function, so learners don’t lose completed work in the event of an electrical shortage or malfunctioning.”

Today pupils will write the practical element of their information technology exam.

Western Cape MEC of Education, Debbie Schafer visits the secretly located vault that holds all the matric exam papers. Picture: Armand Hough /African News Agency(ANA)
Western Cape MEC of Education, Debbie Schafer visits the secretly located vault that holds all the matric exam papers. Photographer: Armand Hough /African News Agency(ANA)
@TheCapeArgus

[email protected]

Cape Argus