File photo: Courtney Africa/African News Agency (ANA).
File photo: Courtney Africa/African News Agency (ANA).
Angie Motshekga
Angie Motshekga
Cape Town - The national senior certificate (NSC) kicked off last week for the class of 2019 when a total of 55 928 Grade 12s across the province wrote English home language, first additional, and second additional language.

They joined about 74 000 candidates across the country.

The week prior, candidates wrote computer applications technology when a load shedding rollout affected about 30 schools across the province.

Aside from the load shedding saga, NSC exams in the province have progressed well.

The same could not be said for the rest of the country, as Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said the department noted with concern that 275 candidates from the North West had to be relocated to safety following violent protests in the area last week.

The pupils were evacuated, Motshekga said, and had to write their exam from various examination centres.

The SA Human Rights Commission said it was concerned by the protests.

“The commission has learnt that the affected areas include Kroondaal, Bloemhof and other areas within the Dr Kenneth Kaunda District Municipality.

“The shutdown of the schools deprives learners of their right to education which is protected in our law.

“The commission welcomes the steps taken by the North West Department of Education to mitigate the impact of the protest on the learners’ human rights by ferrying hundreds of Grade 12 learners to various examination centres which will provide the learners the opportunity to study and write their exams.

‘‘While this is not ideal and unfortunate given the importance of the matric year, it provides learners an opportunity to write their examinations,” the SAHRC said.

Meanwhile the SA Depression and Anxiety Group (Sadag) has urged pupils to reach out if they feel overwhelmed by stress.

The group said it received calls from pupils across the board, including from primary schools, who feel the pressure during the exam season.

“Students call in feeling overwhelmed, anxious and stressed, with some having had panic attacks before a big exam.

“Parents also stress for the exam season, too - they don’t always know how to best support their child so they can cope - and sometimes their pressure can add extra strain to the student.

“But there are so many helpful tips and tools to help students at any level, as well as parents, to cope with the exam season,” it said.

Sadag offers free telephone counselling from 8am to 8pm, seven days a week on 080 021 2223 or SMS 31393.

Cape Times