Basic Education Minister, Angie Motshekga, says the department has stepped up its security across all points in the question paper chain, as the 2022 National Senior Certificate (NSC) exams commence today.
Grade 12 learners are sitting for the NSC examinations from today until 7 December 2022 in all nine provinces.
Motshekga, along with Gauteng Education MEC, Matome Chiloane, is monitoring the start of the National Senior Certificate exams in Mamelodi, Tshwane.
Speaking at a media briefing on Sunday, Motshekga said there has been a gradual increase in the number of full-time enrolments in 2022.
The department, she said, has gone to great lengths to ensure that the examinations happen with no irregularities.
“All learners sitting for the NSC examinations and their parents have signed ‘Commitment Agreement’ to maintain honesty and not to participate in irregularities during the writing of examinations. The agreement binds the learners and parents to follow the rules relating to the examination.
“In line with this agreement, learners and parents are obliged to make any irregularity related information immediately available to the school principal or the DBE hotline. They are also expected to surrender cell phones and any other related devices if there is an allegation of involvement in an act of dishonesty,” the Minister said.
Motshekga said learners are briefed on all the rules and regulations pertaining to the examinations and on the consequences, should they be implicated in irregularities.
The Minister said the department continues to liaise closely with Eskom, the security cluster, provincial Education Departments (PEDs) and other relevant stakeholders to manage the risks posed by load shedding and other security related matters.
“The DBE can confidently state that it is fully prepared to administer the November 2022 examinations based on the principles of fairness, reliability, validity and integrity,” Motshekga said.
Motshekga, supported by her deputy Dr Reginah Mhaule; the Director-General, Mathanzima Mweli and managers in the department have been traversing the country to monitor schools.
The Minister said based on their findings, there are “big challenges”.
In recent weeks, they have had to deal with reported cases where some schools denied learners the right to sit for the NSC exams because they are pregnant.
The Minister said the National Policy on the Prevention and Management of Learner Pregnancy states expressly that barring a learner from school on the grounds of pregnancy is discriminatory.
In terms of the policy, schools are required to take all necessary steps to reasonably accommodate the learner to facilitate her continuing education.
“A learner who is pregnant shall be allowed to sit for national examinations if her health condition permits. The school principal and staff, in collaboration with parents/guardians, shall take all reasonable steps to accommodate the learner’s learning, health and maternal needs during the examination period.
“This policy came into effect in January 2022, and we expect all our school communities to comply with it and implement it accordingly,” Motshekga said.
The Minister has appealed to South Africans to rally behind the Matric Class of 2022.
Source: South African Government News Agency