Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga. File picture: Lindi Masinga/ANA
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga. File picture: Lindi Masinga/ANA

Pretoria - The Basic Education Department (DBE) has put final preparations in place and is ready to administer the 2017 grade 12 National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations starting this week, the department said on Sunday.

"[The] DBE, together with provincial education departments, has been hard at work ensuring an appropriate and enabling environment is set to enable seamless administration of the 2017 NSC examinations," the department said in a statement.

The 2017 NSC exams would start on Monday morning when some candidates wrote the unofficial languages exams.

"The examination system will, however, be fully tested on Tuesday 24 October when more than 630 000 candidates will sit (at 9am) for English paper one at home language and first additional language levels," the department said.

Having experienced problems in the better part of the year, an intervention plan was put in place to support the 1657 matric pupils in secondary schools in the Vuwani region of Limpopo.  

The department had concluded intensive final state of readiness visits to the nine provinces, which culminated on October 6 and also included scheduled engagements with school principals led by DBE director general Mathanzima Mweli, with the core message of ensuring universal coverage of material and ensuring pupils were well geared for the 2017 NSC exams.

Security and the protection of the integrity of the NSC exams had remained a priority. The department had therefore continued to put significant focus on ensuring that it mitigated risks associated with the storage and movement of exam scripts, employing the ‘’just in time’’ printing approach. This allowed for exam scripts to be printed as close as logistically possible to the writing of the exam.
The recent bad weather in KwaZulu-Natal, however devastating, had not left a damper on the province's exam preparations and all centres across the province had been audited by provincial education department officials and provided the requisite support to ensure full compliance and readiness. 

A total of 634 527 full-time and 168,109 part-time candidates had been registered and as had been the case in previous years, KwaZulu-Natal once again presented the highest number of full-time candidates with 153 624, while Gauteng with 41 952 candidates had contributed the most part-time candidates in the 2017 NSC exams.

In addition the department had made provision for 3805 full-time and 544 part-time special needs candidates with barriers to learning, such as dyslexia, blindness, and deafness. 

Mathematics literacy with 356,016 candidates, life sciences with 356 149, mathematics with 279 144, and physical science with 199 874 presented some of the highest enrollment subjects for 2017.

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga would release the 2017 NSC exam results on the evening of Thursday January 4, 2018, and candidates would be able to access their results from Friday January 5, 2018 through the department's website and through the various media outlets via which results would be made available, the department said. 

“I wish the best of luck to all the candidates sitting for the examinations this year. Keep your head down, study hard, stay focused, and I am confident you will make us proud. After at least 12 years in the education system you owe it to yourself to put your all into these examinations so that you are able to take advantage of post-schooling opportunities; the world is your oyster. Good luck to all of you,” Motshekga said in the statement.