Panyaza Lesufi, Gauteng MEC of education said the Grade 12 examinations would go ahead despite the disruption caused by the Covid 19 pandemic. Lesufi on Sunday gave an update about the province’s state of preparedness for the final examinations.
He said the Grade 12 final examination will take place from 05 November 2020 until 15 December 2020, adding that 152 000 candidates have enrolled this year. Of this 117 are fulltime candidates while 34 000 are those who registered on part time basis.
“This is going to be one of the most difficult and complicated examination”, said Lesufi, adding that teachers are trying everything they could to recover the lost teaching time due to the coronavirus.
He said they endorse the minister of basic education, Angie Motshekga’s view that the Grade 12 examination paper should remain the same in spite of the Covid 19 disruptions on teaching and learning across the country. Lesufi said the matric paper has already been set and there is no need to make it lighter due to the outbreak of the virus.
Early this month, Motshekga assured parliament that they will not apply a ‘pass one, pass all approach when they assess the learners. “We have decided that there is not going to be pass one, pass all. Learners are going to be assessed on what we would have taught them in the year,” said Motshekga.
Lesufi said dumping down the paper will not only compromise the integrity of the examination but this will also be “a disservice to both the learners and the country”. Said Lesufi: “The matric paper of 2020 must be exactly the same as that of the matric of 2013 or 2005. We don’t want to stigmatize the matriculants of 2020. So when they get to universities people should not think they got there easily.”
Lesufi said this year they are going to have a combined examination: “we are going to have five examinations in one”. The first examination is for the National Senior Certificate, he said. The second one will be for learners who could not write the full supplementary examination in 2019; the third examination, he continued, will cater for learners who could not write all the subjects in 2019 but chose to write the remaining subject this year, the fourth one will be dedicated to part time candidates while the fifth one will be for adults candidates.
Lesufi said this year there will be 1 088 examination centres and that they have employed 12 000 invigilators to ensure they observe social distancing. For this reason, he said, they have requested local churches and community halls to avail their facilities for the examination.
The MEC also warned that the province is likely going to experience high dropout rates. He said this is because not all the learners have returned to class after the phased-in re-opening of schools last month. He said some parents did not allow their children to go school after the outbreak of the virus because they were anxious their kids will contract the virus. Lesufi said it is particularly the Grade R and Grade 12 that have been greatly impacted, adding that 18% of the matriculants have not reported back to school. He called on the parents to encourage their children, particularly the Grade 12s, to return to school.