File photo: Motshwari Mofokeng/African News Agency (ANA) Archives
Cape Town – The Council for Quality Assurance in General and Further Education and Training, Umalusi, has given the green light for more than 700 000 candidates to write the matric exams.

About 629 197 full-time and 122 471 part-time candidates are due to sit down at 6 900 centres countrywide for their National Senior Certificate (NSC) exams, administered by the Department of Basic Education (DBE).

This is a decrease of more than 40 000 who registered to write the 2018 NSC exams, Umalusi said yesterday.

Umalusi chief executive Mafu Rakometsi said although they were satisfied with the preparations for the exams, there were concerns about the shortage of markers in key subjects with high enrolments.

“An audit was conducted by officials and the Northern Cape had a shortage of agricultural sciences and Afrikaans markers; the Western Cape had a shortage of markers in history paper 2; and the Eastern Cape had a shortage in English first additional language, physical sciences, life sciences and Afrikaans markers,” said Rakometsi.

While contingency plans have been put in place to address the shortages, it has required urgent attention in the affected provincial departments, he said.

The DBE’s director-general Mweli Matanzima said: “Every pupil must be afforded the best possible opportunity to achieve the NSC. In addition, this is the second year that learners will write South African sign language.”

Meanwhile, Education MEC Debbie Schäfer has issued a warning to pupils against cheating in the exams which commence on October 23, saying the consequences would be dire. 

Cape Times