WCED pleads for no disruptions during the matric exam period
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The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) is appealing to parents and community members to avoid all disruption during the matric National Senior Certificate exams.
Matric learners will officially kick off the exams on Monday, October 27, and will conclude on December 7.
Today they are doing the practical examinations. They will be examined on computer application technology (CAT) and on Wednesday they will do the information technology (IT) practical examination.
More than 10,000 candidates will be doing their CAT practical on Tuesday and on Wednesday 875 candidates will be doing their IT practical examination.
MEC for Education Debbie Schäfer said: “It is also unfortunately that time of year when protests and strikes become more frequent. Earlier this year we saw the devastating effects of a taxi strike on school attendance, and it is my sincere hope that this does not happen again during the exam period. I am also conscious of the impending election, and the tendency of these to bring out disruptive behaviour.
“Any action that prevents learners from getting to their exams – and writing them in peace – is unacceptable and adds extra unnecessary stress to what is already a very stressful time.”
Last year, matric exams in the Western Cape were affected by school protests as well as taxi strikes.
The Brackenfell High School protest which was carried out for days was a result of alleged racism. It was alleged that the school held a matric ball where black learners were excluded. The school denied the allegation, saying it was a private function, but word had already spread. There was a clash between Brackenfell residents and political parties members who were there to protest against the alleged racism. Rubber bullets, stun grenades and violence featured at these protests, all during the time that matric learners were writing exams.
A few days later there was a taxi strike which affected buses as well. Buses were attacked and learners were delayed from arriving at exam venues on time.
“So please, politicians, community groups and commercial organisations, I appeal to you to put the interests of our children first over the next two months. This is the first matric class to have spent their entire Grade 12 year in pandemic conditions. They have been through enough. We owe it to them to make sure that they have the best possible chance of succeeding in these exams and completing their school career,” said Schäfer.
The MEC also raised the matter of load shedding. She said the Department of Basic Education was engaging with Eskom in the hope of preventing power supply disruptions this year.
“I appeal to Eskom to do everything it can to prevent disruption to power not only during these practical exams but also during the exam sittings from 27 October onwards. Back-up procedures are all very well, but they are disruptive to learners, so we would rather avoid having to use them,” she said.