Matriculants from eight schools had to be released to go home without writing the exams after waiting two hours for it's return. File Picture.

Johannesburg - Thirty-six Gauteng schools were affected by the load shedding that hit the country on Wednesday just as matriculants were writing their first paper.

Due to the power outage, matriculants from eight schools had to be released after waiting two hours for power to return.

Some had already written but their work could not be captured.

Gauteng MEC for Education Panyaza Lesufi said pupils from Zwartkop, Al Azhar, St Barnabas, Hoerskoel Vorentoe, Namedi Secondary, Hoërskool Burger, PJ Simelane and Curtis Nkomo were affected during their Computer Technology Application exams.

He said the power cut at Namedi Secondary happened just after midday before the technician copied 11 of the 12 candidates work on the disk.

At Hoërskool Burdger, the outage occurred at 12.15 and their work was not saved.

The same happened at Chris Nkomo as well as PJ Simelane, Lesufi wrote on Twitter.

At Zwartkop, Al Azhar, St Barnabas, Hoërskool Vorentoe, the pupils were let go after waiting hours for electricity to return so they could start writing their exam.

Spokesperson Steve Mabona said those who did not write their  exam due to load shedding would be given another chance to write it.

"We will get a new date for them to write but the Department of Basic Education will guide us on that," he said.

With regards to future issues regarding power failure at schools, Mabona said while they were not that worried of future power cuts as pupils would still be able to write without electricity, it was different with Wednesday's paper as electricity was a requirement.

"They need power to work on the computers. We give them a question paper and they have to use a computer to answer hence we were severely affected."

"We had to let them go because they could not wait for three hours to write an exam, that would have been unfair on the learners because they can't go anywhere and even if they want to go to the toilet someone has to go with them," he said.

Mabona said they always encourage schools to have generators as a back up.

In another challenge that the department dealt with on Wednesday, Lesufi said they had to deal with a pupil who arrived at Pro Art Technical School in Tshwane  to write his exam after he had been expelled due to misconduct.

According to Lesufi, the pupil had been dismissed after threatening to kill white teachers at the school.

Although he was expelled, he was given a chance to write exams but none of the teachers wanted to invigilate him due to the threats he had mad made. 

"Through the intervention of the provincial monitor, the candidate was allowed to write the exam under the supervision of the invigilator in a separate exam room," Lesufi.

The Star