Briefing the basic education portfolio committee on examination readiness for matrics yesterday, director of examination and assessment, Priscilla Ogunbanjo, said the registration of candidates was complete and examination centres were ready.
“Looking at the enrolments for 2017, we have 636 814 full-time candidates who have enrolled to write this examination and 161 475 part-time candidates, giving us a total of 798 289 for this year,” Ogunbanjo said.
The total number of enrolled candidates had dropped by about 37 000 from the last year.
“If you look at enrolments for each province you see the difference is most significant in KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo and the Eastern Cape,” Ogunbanjo said.
A total of 828 020 registered to write matric last year.
She said there was a decrease in enrolments in some subjects, particularly mathematics literacy and mathematics.
“We have not had too much of a decrease in maths compared with mathematics literacy,” she said.
“The trend in enrolments has been in favour of mathematics rather than mathematics literacy. Other decreases in other subjects were general reductions also in line with the general numbers decrease in total enrolments.”
Ogunbanjo also said the setting of question papers had been completed.
The papers had been approved by Umalusi, with schools now writing preliminary examination papers that were moderated in line with final examinations.
She said an independent auditing company had been commissioned to conduct an audit of the processes, from the setting to the printing of question papers.
This was to address the examination irregularities experienced due to last year’s leakage of the mathematics paper in Giyani.
Ogunbanjo also said a number of weaknesses had been identified, particularly at the Government Printing Works, which had since been attended to.
She said the reduction in group copying had been noted across all provincial education districts.
In an attempt to end the practice, districts had categorised centres according to risk profile, Ogunbanjo added.