Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi speaks during a site visit at Phandimfundo Secondary School. Picture: Dimpho Maja.
Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi speaks during a site visit at Phandimfundo Secondary School. Picture: Dimpho Maja.
A pupil from Phandimfundo Secondary School, Sibusiso Mahamba. Picture: Dimpho Maja.
A pupil from Phandimfundo Secondary School, Sibusiso Mahamba. Picture: Dimpho Maja.
Vincent Zulu, the Gauteng Department of Education's senior manager for schools support. Picture: Dimpho Maja.
Vincent Zulu, the Gauteng Department of Education's senior manager for schools support. Picture: Dimpho Maja.
Pupils during their final exam preparation at Phandimfundo Secondary School. Picture: Dimpho Maja.
Pupils during their final exam preparation at Phandimfundo Secondary School. Picture: Dimpho Maja.

Johannesburg - Three types of camps - Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi on Tuesday said the department was "combat-ready" for the upcoming 2017 National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations. 

Lesufi made these comments during his visit to the various Secondary School Improvement Programme (SSIP) sites in Ekhurhuleni to engage pupils and their tutors ahead of the final exams. 

He visited B.B. Myataza Secondary School, Phandimfundo Secondary School and H.B. Nyathi Secondary School as part of the tour.

Speaking at Phandimfundo, Lesufi spoke of the three sites, or camps, set up across the province.

"We have three types of camps: the first are walk-ins, where pupils from the townships can do a walk-in. Then there's camps for high achieving pupils as well as for progressed pupils, which cater for those pupils who've repeated grade 11 numerous times.  

Watch Lesufi speak of the department's readiness: 

Gauteng MEC Panyaza Lesufi speaks of the department's readiness for the 2017 matric exams. Video: Khanyisile Ngcobo

"We have all these kinds of camps to help pupils pass because, you know, matric is a very important examination."

Speaking of the department's readiness ahead of the exams, Lesufi said they were "combat-ready" and had a "military-style" arrangement with teachers regarding the collection of papers and where to deliver them. 

This to avoid the leaking of papers, as had been the case in Gauteng, Limpopo and Mpumalanga. 

Lesufi also had words of encouragement for pupils, stressing the importance of preparation and speaking out when they faced too much pressure. 

He cited the reported suicide of two pupils, allegedly due to the mounting pressure. 

"We want to urge those pupils feeling pressure to contact Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) that we have agreements with, to ask for assistance. 

"We also have social workers on site to assist pupils to deal with such issues."

Phandimfundo matric pupil Sibusiso Mahamba added to this, praising the initiative for the help it was giving pupils ahead of exams. 

He also encouraged fellow pupils to prepare well for the final stretch and study hard.