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Cape Town - In less than a month, nearly 800 000 matriculants will sit down for the final examinations for the class of 2017.
Briefing the basic education portfolio on examination readiness for matric on Tuesday, director of examination and assessment Priscilla Ogunbanjo said registration of candidates and  examination centres were complete.
“Looking at the enrolments for 2017, we can see we have 636 814 full-time candidates that 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 has 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 Eastern Cape," Ogunbanjo said.
A total of  828 020 registered to write matriculation in 2016.
She said there was decrease in enrolments in some subjects, particularly mathematics literacy and mathematics.
"We have not had too much of decrease in maths compared to mathematics literacy," she said adding that the enrolment for maths in 2016 was 42% and this year 43.9%.
"The trend in enrolments has been in favour for mathematics rather than mathematics literacy. Other decreases in other subjects were general reductions also in line with general number  decrease with total enrolments." 
Ogunbanjo also said the setting of question papers has been completed.
The papers have been approved by Umalusi with schools now busy writing preliminary examination papers that were moderated in line with final examinations.
She said an independent auditing company was commissioned to conduct an audit of the processes from the setting to the printing of question papers.
This was to address examination irregularities that were experienced due to last year's leakage of the mathematics paper in Giyani. 
Ogunbanjo also said a number of weaknesses were identified, particularly at the Government Printing Works, which have since been attended to. 
She said the reduction in group copying has been noted across all provincial education districts. 
In an attempt to end the practice, districts have categorised centres according risk profile, Ogunbanjo added.
Politcal Bureau