Durban — KwaZulu-Natal Education MEC Mbali Frazer has urged communities to not shut down schools whenever they experience service delivery challenges as that would disrupt the exams.
Frazer was speaking at the provincial matric prayer held on Sunday at eThekwini Community Church.
She advised parents and the community to go to the relevant departments whenever they are not satisfied with something.
“If there is no water, go to the municipalities, not the schools,” said Frazer.
Frazer further encouraged families and parents to support their children as they start their exams today (Monday). She said pupils need to be given time to study. The matric class of 2023 will be writing their English paper today (Monday). Moreover, Frazer encouraged pupils to pray for strength and wisdom.
“Pupils need to know that they will not walk this journey alone, we are all here to support them,” she said.
They would also make sure that there are mobile classes at schools affected by strong winds and heavy rain, she added.
A pupil from Durban High School, Siphiwosethu Zungu, said he was nervous about the exams but he had been preparing for the whole year and attending extra lessons.
“They always say that nerves are good,” he said.
Samkelisiwe Nkomo from Bonela Secondary said she was nervous but has been focused and dedicated.
“I believe I will pass my matric because I have been working so hard and the teachers have been supportive.”
Nosipho Mbatha from Bonela Secondary said she was sure that she would pull through because of all the hard work, although she was nervous.
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said more than 717 377 matric candidates were expected to sit for their final exams across 6 898 centres today (Monday). She said there had been a gradual decrease in the number of candidates, 34 626, compared with the class of 2022 and this could be attributed to the fact that more candidates completed their qualifications on time.
“There has been an increase in the number of part-time learners from 168 631 in 2022 to 181 143 in 2023 (an increase of 12 512). A total of 207 question papers, 72 500 invigilators and 52 500 markers will drive the examinations process. Our roster boasts 72 500 invigilators who are ready to ensure the smooth conduct of the examinations, compared with 72 000 last year,” said Motshekga.
Umalusi has approved all the question papers to be administered in the October/November exams and given the nod to the exams. Motshekga added that security measures were enhanced to prevent paper leaks in all nine provinces, with the State Security Agency having audited the processes.
“Provincial Education Departments (PEDs) must follow standard operating procedures training storage point managers in security protocols. Specific collection times for question papers by chief invigilators have been established to deter early access. Each PED has its own (regularity) committee to anticipate and mitigate crises,” she said.
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