Western Cape Not Told About Exam Changes

The Western Cape Education Department was left out when it came to being notified about the latest Matric exam changes. WCED will now hold further engagements with the Department but has also made decisions on how they will operate.

The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) was left out when it came to being notified about the latest Matric exam changes.

WCED was not told about the following changes in the exam protocols which were announced this week:

  • Matrics who present with temperatures of 38°C or more during the screening process will be allowed to write but will need to do so in isolation. 

Due to not being informed, WCED spokesperson Bronagh Hammond said that the province will stick to the original protocols where students who fall in the above category will not be allowed to write. WCED does however have plans to discuss the exam screening process with the Department of Basic Education (DBE).

This wasn't agreed to by the Western Cape, so we are speaking to DBE about this because it isn't the protocol document that we have got in terms of the screening process ... as it stands we are sticking to the protocol document that we've got and no new protocol document has been issued.

- WCED spokesperson Bronagh Hammond


Another change which was brought forward, one that the WCED was made aware of this time, is that those candidates who were set to write their Supplementary exams in the middle of year would write now. This then lead to the group of candidates writing being larger and additional exam venues had to be secured. 

Bronagh says that we basically have nearly double the amount of candidates that are writing this year. 

It's the largest examination that we have had to conduct ever in our history... We've had to find additional exam centres.

- WCED spokesperson Bronagh Hammond

Learners in the province has said that it has been difficult to adjust to all the changes that the pandemic has presented but that they are coping. 

One Matric learner in the province told SABC News:

Most of the Matriculants here feel pressured into passing. We can't really focus on passing if we have to come to school fearful of getting sick or something.

Should an invigilator have a temperature of 38°C or more, additional invigilators have been recruited and will then replace them or make sure that the exam venue has sufficient invigilators. "We need to put safety first in this regard," says Hammond.

Western Cape has over 2000 markers in place and 11 marking centres, said Debbie Schafer, Western Cape Education Minister.

Premier of the Western Cape, Alan Winde, wished Matrics well as they embark on their exams today and said, "To all our matriculants who will be writing their final exams this year, I want to wish you the very best as you embark on the final step of your schooling career. Good luck! We are right behind you!"

This year will see 1 058 699 individuals sit down to write their National Senior Certificate (NSC) exams from 5 November until 15 December. In the Western Cape, more than 95 000 matriculants will be writing during this Matric exam season.




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