As Grade 12 learners across South Africa sat down to write their first written exam for the National Senior Certificate (NSC), nearly 67,000 learners from the Western Cape sat down on Monday morning.
The Western Cape MEC for Education, David Maynier said the first session went smoothly without incident.
“No disruptions have been reported today, and we are pleased that the public has heeded our call to make our matrics the VIPs of our province for the next few weeks. We hope that this positive start will set the tone for the entire exam session,” Maynier said.
A total of 76,903 candidates will write the NSC exams in the Western Cape this year; of this, 64,105 are full-time candidates and 12,798 are part-time candidates.
A total of 66,831 candidates wrote English Home Language, First Additional Language, or Second Additional Language in the morning sitting.
On Tuesday, 10,738 candidates will be writing Economic Paper 1 during the morning session, while a variety of languages with low enrolment, such as Arabic, French, and Latin, will be written in the afternoon session.
“In contrast, we have four subjects with just a single candidate writing in the Western Cape: IsiZulu Home Language, IsiZulu First Additional Language, Portuguese First Additional Language, and Telugu Second Additional Language. Thirteen candidates will complete the South African Sign Language Home Language exam,” Maynier said.
He said the exams will be written at 469 exam centres and overseen by 1,878 invigilators who will keep a close eye on proceedings and any potential irregularities. Marking will get under way after the final written exam, and 928,000 exam scripts will be marked by 4,158 markers and checked by 1,046 mark-checkers.
A total of 123 exam papers will be written during the exam period, which ends on December 5, with Agricultural Technology.
Maynier said contingency plans have been put in place for load shedding and any disruptions.
“It is also clear that we simply cannot afford any disruptions. While our department prepares contingency plans each year, disruptions in the form of strikes and protests have a detrimental effect on our candidates. Matric is a stressful enough time without our learners having to worry about getting to their exams safely.
“We are also mindful of the impact of the ongoing load shedding and assure our matrics that we have the necessary protocols in place for exams to continue in the case of both scheduled and unscheduled power outages,” Maynier said.
He also urged Grade 12 learners to keep their heads down and keep working right until the last exam.
His message to the Class of 2023: “We wish you the very best for the matric exams! You have really put in the extra hours this year, and we are so proud of the effort you have made to invest in your own future. We know that this will be a very stressful time for you, but remember that this is the last stretch, so keep your head down, work hard, and above all, do your very best. We are here for you, we will support you, and we can’t wait to celebrate with you when the results are released next year.”
The national results announcement will take place on January 18, 2024, and learners will be able to get their results at school and online on January 19, 2024.