Matric exams get off to a good start

Image: Gallo Images

The first day of the matric final examinations went smoothly on Wednesday as 629,197 pupils sat for the English first paper across 7,416 examination centers nationwide.

The pupils said even though the paper was not that difficult they found discussion on the topic about "government gags the internet, how they get permission to limit conversation on social media" a bit of a challenge.

Zitho Mashaba, 17, a grade 12 pupil at Vaal High school in  Vanderbijlpark, south of Johannesburg, said most of the questions were about the stuff that he had studied.

“It was only the question on government and the internet that nearly gave me a headache as we had to write a paragraph on the topic. Otherwise the paper was not so bad," he said.

In all provinces the exams  went smoothly despite the threats of service delivery protests in some provinces.

KwaZulu-Natal reported that despite threats of service delivery protests in some part of the province the exams went off without a hassle.

KwaZulu-Natal education MEC Kwazi Mshengu said they will continue to protect the integrity of the examinations through monitoring and other safety measures.

In North West, the education department managed to evacuate grade 12 pupils from Bloemhof, Khuma and Kanakana townships to special centres following violent protests in the areas.

Basic education spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga said question papers are safe and storage facilities are improved.

“The persons working there have demonstrated commitment by not compromising the safety of the papers, security companies are also hired to protect storage facilities, learners are also showing commitment to clean exams; that’s why we have not had any leaks for three years now.

"The Limpopo situation has been corrected and group copying has been addressed through the use of roving and resident monitors who come from outside the schools where exams are written,” Mhlanga said.

Basic education director-general Mathanzima Mweli said appropriate measures have been put in place in the likelihood that community protests cause disruption that lead to exams not being written due to candidates not being able to access exam venues.

“The department has engaged security and law enforcement agencies to be on standby for any eventuality that might require their intervention,” he said.

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