Pupils to pick up pens for tests

Class of 2018 ready them­selves for the foray into the fu­ture

Pretoria News - - Metro - STAFF RE­PORTERS Tim­o­thy Bernard | |

THE class of 2018 has wrapped up their school­ing with fi­nal as­sem­blies this week ahead of the start of the Na­tional Se­nior Cer­tifi­cate ex­ams.

A to­tal of 37 340 can­di­dates will sit for the first prac­ti­cal ex­ams in Com­puter Ex­am­i­na­tions Tech­nol­ogy on Mon­day and In­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy prac­ti­cal on Tues­day.

For most, though, the ex­ams start the fol­low­ing week with English home lan­guage 1 at 9am on Tues­day, Oc­to­ber 23, Ac­count­ing on the next day. The Maths pa­per 1 is on Oc­to­ber 26 with pa­per 2 on Oc­to­ber 29.

De­pend­ing on sub­ject com­bi­na­tions, the sec­ond week could be tough for some with Maths on Mon­day, Ge­og­ra­phy the­ory and map work on Tues­day, His­tory on Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon, Afrikaans home lan­guage and Eco­nom­ics on Thurs­day and Phys­i­cal Sci­ence on Fri­day.

For most, ex­ams fin­ish on Novem­ber 23 (Afrikaans home lan­guage) or Novem­ber 26 (English home lan­guage).

Ba­sic Ed­u­ca­tion spokesper­son Eli­jah Mh­langa said the 2018 NSC exam will see 796 542 can­di­dates writ­ing the exam across 6 888 exam cen­tres in the coun­try. Of these 629 141 are full-time and 167 401 part-time can­di­dates.

Mh­langa said ev­ery­thing pos­si­ble was done to en­sure a cred­i­ble exam.

“The De­part­ment of Ba­sic Ed­u­ca­tion has em­barked on an in­ten­sive re­view of all its sys­tems and pro­cesses and has taken cog­ni­sance of the lim­i­ta­tions that may have pre­sented a chal­lenge in pre­vi­ous years and all these have been thor­oughly ad­dressed.”

For these ex­ams, the de­part­ment will have a num­ber of firsts. It will be ad­min­is­ter­ing an exam in South African Sign Lan­guage at Home Lan­guage level to 58 deaf can­di­dates in 10 schools.

“The ques­tion pa­pers will be signed and learn­ers will re­spond by sign­ing and this will be recorded us­ing the ap­pro­pri­ate tech­nol­ogy. The De­part­ment of Ba­sic Ed­u­ca­tion has pi­loted its as­sess­ment pro­cesses in this re­gard.”

An­other first for the de­part­ment, is the writ­ing of Tech­ni­cal Maths and Tech­ni­cal Sci­ence ex­ams.

“The of­fer­ing of these two sub­jects is in sync with the in­ten­tion of the de­part­ment to pro­vide a broader scope of sub­ject of­fer­ings for learn­ers.”

Mh­langa said they have this year put in ex­tra safety mea­sures to pre­vent the risk of leaked pa­pers.

“An as­pect of the sys­tem that the de­part­ment has honed this year is the dif­fer­ent points at which the ques­tion pa­pers are stored en route to the school. The de­part­ment has au­dited each of these points and only those that com­ply with the strin­gent cri­te­ria are al­lowed to store ques­tion pa­pers.

“These stor­age points will be closely mon­i­tored by the pro­vin­cial ed­u­ca­tion de­part­ments.”

Exam cen­tres have also been cat­e­gorised ac­cord­ing to their risk pro­file and those im­pli­cated in mal­prac­tice in the past will be mon­i­tored.

“Schools will ex­er­cise a zero tol­er­ance in en­sur­ing that any learner that at­tempts to re­sort to any un­fair prac­tice will be iden­ti­fied and se­verely pun­ished,” Mh­langa warned.

Thi­rona Mood­ley, of the Na­tional Pro­fes­sional Teach­ers’ Or­gan­i­sa­tion of South Africa (Nap­tosa), said schools had put in a lot of work in prepa­ra­tion for pos­i­tive re­sults.

“We are ex­pect­ing pos­i­tive re­sults. The teach­ers have done all they can and all that re­mains is for the pupils to get out there and write,” said Mood­ley.

• Ad­di­tional re­port­ing by Tebogo Monama

Ma­tric pupils write ex­ams. The De­part­ment of Ba­sic Ed­u­ca­tion will have a zero tol­er­ance ap­proach to mal­prac­tices dur­ing the ex­ams.

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