7789-The Gauteng MEC Panyaza Lesufi briefed the media on his 1st 100 days in office yesterday in Thembisa Phomolong section. 11.09.2014 Picture:Dumisani Dube

Johannesburg - Grade 12 pupils and the Gauteng education department are ready for the upcoming National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations, education MEC Panyaza Lesufi said on Wednesday.

“I believe that we have prepared fully for the commencement of a legitimate and credible examination,” Lesufi told reporters in Johannesburg.

He was accompanied by Gauteng education department head Boy Ngobeni and provincial deputy director general Edward Mosuwe.

A total of 101 265 full-time and 42 382 part-time pupils across the province would start the matric exams on October 27.

“This is a special day for us as it marks the birthday of former (ANC) president Oliver Tambo,” said Lesufi.

Various support structures had been put in place to ensure the province's readiness for the examinations.

This included R140 million the department had invested in educational support programmes, such as Saturday schools, holiday schools, and matric revision camps.

“Saturday schools in the province have been running since the beginning of the year and the holiday schools included extra classes during the school holidays,” said Lesufi.

The matric revision camps had been established cross the province in areas such as Magaliesburg, Hammanskraal and Vanderbijlpark.

“These camps will provide opportunities for intensified study and drill sessions aimed at increased content coverage as well as intensified exam practice,” said Lesufi.

The camps had been divided into three categories.

The first included high-risk pupil camps, where 5318 pupils identified as performing below departmental standards would be bussed to 15 camps around the province from October 6 to 10.

The second would be residential camps, where 13 712 pupils would be accommodated from October 13 to 24.

“These are for matriculants who we expect bachelor passes from (over 50 percent in at least four subjects),” said Lesufi.

The third - walk in camps - were for pupils unable to leave their homes.

“The walk in camps will accommodate 40 327 in 108 sites in Ekurhuleni and Johannesburg,” said Lesufi.

Other support structures included the appointment of 8090 markers and 4789 invigilators in 11 marking centres across the province.

“These appointments have increased from last year to ensure that the examinations run more smoothly and produce better results,” said Lesufi.

The department would also work with Childline to assist pupils with the emotional pressure associated with the exams.

“We want our matrics to know that they are not alone and that support is out there for them,” said Lesufi.