File picture: Michael Walker/ African News Agency (ANA) Archives.

PORT ELIZABETH - The Eastern Cape education department said it was all systems go for this year's matric trial examinations which kicked off on Wednesday.

Department of Education spokesman Mali Mtima said about 103,216 candidates from 939 public and 50 independent schools would be writing the trial exams until September 16. 

Around 4,102 candidates, who were registered for Computer Applications Technology (CAT) and 329 of them registered for Information Technology (IT), wrote their exams on Wednesday.

"We have issued an assessment instruction with the final timetable to all districts and centres in preparation for this examination,” said Mzimhle Mabona, acting chief director for assessment and examinations, for the provincial education department.

Mabona said trial examinations must be treated seriously. 

"The duration of the papers that are written for trial are the same as the final examination. Normal times for the collection of question papers will be observed by all districts and centres," said Mabona. 

Mabona said school districts and centres would be reporting daily to the head office on the writing of trial examinations. He added that all irregularities reported during the trial exams would be attended to and measures would be put in place to avoid a reoccurrence during final examinations. 

He emphasised that the trial examination was very important as it was a component of School Based Assessment (SBA), which constitutes 25% of the final mark of every matric candidate.

"A candidate with an outstanding mark in a task cannot be resulted, the results come out as pending until the candidate submits the outstanding task, the centre marks and submit the marks for resulting. It is therefore, important that all registered candidates write the trial examination in order to get their results at the end of the year,” Mabona said. 

African News Agency (ANA)