The Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, today marked the start of the 2012 National Senior Certificate (NSC) Examinations by handing over question papers to a 19-year old learner who is writing a special exam in hospital. The learner will be part of the 120 352 part-time learners who will sit for the NSC this year.
Remember Mashabela, from Flora Park in Polokwane, goes to Flora Park Comprehensive School and suffers from a chronic illness. The learner was granted permission to sit for the NSC examinations in hospital where he is receiving specialised treatment.
Mashabela, who’s currently writing a book entitled “Happiness is a Choice”, was diagnosed with Leukemia in 2004. He wrote his first matric examination in 2010 but could not finish and is now writing for the second time after his initial attempt was not successful due to his medical condition.
He was flown into the Pretoria East Hospital late last week where he is receiving medical attention. Determined to write his final examination, he decided to write to the Department of Basic Education requesting permission to do so in hospital.
“I was touched by his letter to the Department and this says to me that Mashabela is prepared adequately, like all other matriculants, for this important phase in his life,” said Motshekga.
The minister said officials from the Department had visited the hospital to ensure that all security measures had been adhered to and that the environment would be conducive for him to sit for his final exam.
"I am encouraged by the learner’s commitment, and that which has been shown by our learners across the country. Some of us complain about the little things in life and it’s moments like this that make one realize that Education is one of the most important assets in life.”
In an effort to cater for learners with special needs the department has also adapted question papers for the blind, partially sighted and deaf candidates. More than 1 445 question papers have been brailed and provided in Braille fonts specific to each individual candidate’s requirements. In addition to this teachers from schools for the blind and deaf were co-opted as special examiners.
Mashabela expressed happiness for having been granted permission because he did not want to miss the examination. “I’m happy that the minister has come to the hospital to wish me well. I did not expect it and I appreciate that she has given me her time,” he said.
“With today marking the first day of exams, I wish all learners the best in their efforts. Remember to first read quickly through the entire paper. This may help you choose the easy questions. Do them first and then tackle the more difficult ones later.”