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Support the matric class of 2020, urges education department

Invigilator handing out exam papers to matrics.

The Department of Basic Education (DBE) has urged South Africans to rally behind the matrics. Picture: Courtney Africa/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Nov 3, 2020


With just two days before the matric class of 2020 sits for the final exams, the Department of Basic Education (DBE) has urged South Africans to rally behind the matrics.

According to the department, the combined examination for Senior Certificate and National Senior Certificate candidates makes this the largest cohort of 1 058 699 candidates.

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“The department has extended sincere gratitude to provinces, partners, educational stakeholders, parents and civil society for going beyond the call of duty to assist and support Grade 12 learners.

“The department wishes all candidates who will sit for the final exams the very best,” the DBE said.

In a statement, the department said despite the challenges the year has brought, the Class of 2020 will be subjected to the same high quality of examinations that previous cohorts were subjected to.

It said no amendments were made to 2020 exam papers set up in 2019. However, support and preparedness measures were put in place to assist pupils.

“Measures such as the provision of supplementary material, vacation classes, after-school programmes, teacher content training, placement of volunteer teachers, as well as alternative (differentiated) ways of grouping and teaching learners were put in place.

“The sector has placed strong emphasis on the areas of psychosocial support for learners and teachers, curriculum coverage monitoring, extra school-based tuition such as morning or afternoon and weekend classes, teacher development related to pedagogy and content, ICT utilisation in the form of TV, radio, online and web-based platforms, peer-led study groups and the provision of additional LTSM (learning and teaching support material),” the DBE said.

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Exam Centre Registration:

Designated centres will mainly be used for the Senior Certificate and part-time candidates, while NSC full-time candidates write at their schools. Both public and independent centres have been audited to ascertain the risk profile of the centre and compliance with Covid-19 protocols.

Writing Status:

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All provincial education departments have completed the training of chief invigilators and invigilators. There was strict adherence to Covid-19 protocols in provinces where face-to-face modality was used for the training of invigilators.

Social distancing inside the exam centres has been decreased to one metre.


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All provinces have completed the marker selection process and are currently managing the marking of subjects where shortages of markers have been identified.

A plan for the marking guidelines standardisation meetings has been developed with the face-to-face and virtual modalities that will be used. Umalusi will also participate in meetings to ensure that the marking guideline complies with the standard of the question paper.

Monitoring of exams:

Daily reports will be submitted to the DBE during the writing period and provinces are expected to submit the final irregularity reports on or before Monday, January 25, 2021.

Management of Irregularities:

The department said it had amended its writing protocol to allow pupils that present a temperature of above 38°C during the screening process to write the examination in isolation. These pupils will not be allowed to associate with other pupils after the examination and will be referred for medical attention. The condition of these pupils will then be closely monitored in subsequent examinations.

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