Nearly 100 matriculants test positive for Covid-19

The department of basic education says nearly 100 matriculants were tested positive for Covid-19.
The department of basic education says nearly 100 matriculants were tested positive for Covid-19.
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There were a total of 93 national senior certificate (NSC) candidates who tested positive for Covid-19 across the the country, with Eastern Cape province having the highest number.

The department of basic education announced on Friday that the EC had 53 candidates followed by the Free State with 23, Western Cape 10 and nine for Gauteng province who tested positive.

The EC candidates are from 19 different schools in Port Elizabeth, East London and Graaf Reinet.

The department’s spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga said 17 pupils from Motheo district had served their isolation period and they were back at their schools while 23 pupils from Lejweleputswa district were currently based in a quarantine site.

“The department has been monitoring progress across the country as candidates are writing under Covid-19 conditions with revised safety protocols. We are pleased with the decision taken in partnership with the department of health to allow candidates who tested positive for Covdi-19 to write examination in controlled isolation centres,” Mhlanga said.

He said there was also the problem of candidates in Eastern Cape and Gauteng who were found in possession of cellphones and some candidates were caught in possession of crib notes in Gauteng and KwaZulu Natal.

“ The department is dealing with these incidents and strengthening our vigilance in the different examination centres  to protect the integrity of the examination process,” Mhlanga said.

Minister of basic education Angie Motshekga appealed to all candidates to stay at home and study  and also to avoid parties and all risky behavior that may endanger their health.

Meanwhile, an undisclosed number of matric pupils in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal were caught with crib notes during examinations this week.

Mhlanga said the department was dealing with the incidents and strengthening vigilance in examination centres to protect the integrity of the exam process. Mhlanga was speaking as the department gave its update on how the first two weeks of the matric finals had gone.

Another reported incident was that of two pupils, one each in Gauteng and the Eastern Cape, who were found in possession of cellphones during exams. Mhlanga said they had been dealt with according to the pledge they signed.

Mhlanga said the department appealed to parents to communicate a message of integrity and to discourage candidates from cheating. The department said the second week of the examinations went well, apart from protest action at Brackenfell High School in the Western Cape.

Mhlanga said initial reports indicated that all schools wrote the examinations, however it is not clear at this stage whether all pupils in those schools wrote. Data is still being collected.

Additional reporting Belinda Pheto

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