The 2015 National Senior Certificate examination, which is the largest examination under the democratic government, has started with no major incidents that warrant undue concern. On Monday, 26 October 2015, 710 870 candidates (full time and part time) sat for the first examination in English First Additional Language (FAL), English Home Language and English Second Additional Language. Comments from teachers and candidates about the standard of the question paper have been positive, with candidates indicating that the paper was fair.
This examination with a total of 801 688 candidates is being written across 6797 examination centres in the country and an estimated 35 000 invigilators are appointed to oversee the examination. The strategies employed by the Department of Basic Education to strengthen the administration of the examination, is certainly beginning to assist. The strategies related to the categorisation of centres based on risk their profile, monitoring customized to suit the risk profile and in addition the intensification of invigilator training and the standardization of procedures across centres. Our initial monitoring reports indicate that the examinations are being conducted in accordance with the national Invigilator Manual and there is a high degree of vigilance and alertness across the system.
Service delivery protests were reported in three provinces, namely Western Cape, Limpopo and KwaZulu-Natal. In all three cases measures have been taken to ensure that the examination is not disrupted. In the Western Cape candidates have been relocated to another where they have been accommodated for the week and the support of the public and business in this initiative has been extremely encouraging.
I am calling on learners to sustain the momentum that they have mustered in the first week, and parents must ensure that learners are supported by ensuring they eat correctly, rest adequately and give of their best. The revision that is done in the last few days prior to the examination is always extremely critical. Learners should plan their study time table wisely and always make sure that they follow it correctly. It is important that they check and double check with classmates and their school that they are preparing for the right paper. We appeal to learners not to be tempted in any way to do anything that would compromise themselves or the examination and to report any irregularity to their parents or teachers.
My staff and the provincial examination teams are working full steam to ensure that nothing will interrupt the smooth flow of the examinations. We have a national hotline and provincial hotlines, the details of which are available on the DBE website where learners and parents must report anything that appears suspicious in this examination. Examination credibility and integrity is the supreme goal in this and all examination processes. I am indeed grateful to the large number of examination officials who leave their homes as early as 03:00 in the morning to ensure that question papers are delivered from their storage points across the country to the centres where the examination is written. These are the same officials that will only get home after 20:00 at night after having secured the answer scripts at the designated safe storage areas in the country.
Markers have been appointed and trained across all nine provinces and the first national marking guideline discussions have commenced. This process will see a total of 130 national meetings being hosted, where chief markers and internal moderators from all provinces will assemble to thrash out the marking guideline and ensure that a common understanding is reached in this regard. The intensive training of these chief markers and internal moderators in Pretoria over the next few days will equip them to ensure a standardized marking approach across the 121 marking centres.
The plan of the DBE is to ensure that all results are available at schools on the morning of the 6 January 2016.
In conclusion I would like wish the class of 2015 well for their remaining examinations and am confident they will do us proud.
Enquiries: Elijah Mhlanga – 083 580 8275
Troy Martens – 079 899 3070
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