Exams get going without a hitch

THE 2009 matric examinations got off to a smooth start in KwaZulu-Natal yesterday.

Education officials confirmed that both the morning and afternoon sessions were written without any hitches.

More than 140089 full-time and 12400 part-time candidates are registered for exams at 1686 exam centres.

Yesterday, pupils wrote mother tongue and electrical technology papers.

The language papers included French, Hindi and Portuguese.

Education officials and teacher unions monitoring the process said there were "no problems".

Police were also working closely with the department to assist if needed.

Education spokesperson Sihle Mlotshwa said an integrated effort from all stakeholders would be needed throughout the exams.

"The examinations started very well.

"We have not heard any reports of any problems in the province."

Last week education MEC Senzo Mchunu told the media that despite allegations no matric papers had been leaked in the province.

"We can confirm that the rumours that there were leaks in the province have been proven to be untrue."

Last year the country achieved a 62percent national pass rate, while KwaZulu-Natal achieved only a 57percent pass rate.

The department has said it believed that statistic would be improved upon this year.