Its all systems go for the 2021 National Senior Certificate exams.
With only weeks to go until the 2021 National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations, the Department of Basic Education (DBE) is expecting more than 890 000 candidates to sit for the exams.
The November 2021 National Senior Certificate (NSC) examination will commence officially on Wednesday, 27 October 2021 and conclude on Tuesday, 7 December 2021.
Director of National Examinations, Priscilla Ogunbanjo, said that this is the largest number of candidates who will sit for the exams in terms of fulltime candidates since the inception of the NSC examinations.
Ogunbanjo said this at a media briefing on Friday hosted by the department on the state of readiness to present credible examinations for the 2021 curriculum year.
"We have 735 677 fulltime candidates that have enrolled to write the exam, this is the largest number since the inception of the NSC exam in terms of fulltime enrolment. This is an increase of 128 451 candidates than we had enrolled last year," she said.
Ogunbanjo said that part-time enrolment has also picked up again compared to 2020, with 162 109 candidates that will sit for the exam this year. The department has also noted an increase in key subjects in terms of the number of candidates.
Minister Angie Motshekga said that the department is ready to present a credible examination for 2021. The DBE has consulted with the provinces to check on their state of readiness. In their response, the provinces have confirmed that it is all system go.
"This is the third matric exam to happen under the COVID-19 environment; and the DBE had to make changes, to mitigate the negative impact of COVID-19 pandemic on teaching and learning," she said.
Adding on to the readiness and monitoring, Ogunbanjo said that the department and Provincial Education Departments (PEDs) will monitor both the writing and the marking of the November 2021 NSC examinations.
She said that PED monitors will include provincial, district and circuit officials and monitoring is aligned to the risk profiles of centres.
"Resident monitors will be deployed to all high risk centres, including takeover by head office/districts. Each PED [is] to have a monitoring coverage of not less than 70%. On-line monitoring tools will also be used in certain PEDs. Additionally, a total of 95 DBE monitors will be deployed across the provinces to verify the monitoring conducted by PEDs," Ogunbanjo said.
Marking and the release of results
Marking is scheduled to commence on 8 December and end 22 December 2021, meanwhile the provisional release of results is scheduled for 21 January 2022.
The department has appealed to the public to assist it in stamping out the evil of examination breaches.
"The DBE and the PEDs are leaving no stone unturned in strengthening their security measures across the value chain. We need the support of parents, teachers, principals and all members of the public to alert the Department of any irregular practice that may surface on the social media or on any other platform,"Ogunbanjo said.
In terms of learner support, the department said that the Woza Matrics Campaign is available and offers tuition support to Grade 12 learners in ten subjects.
The campaign is a free-to-air television initiative, launched following the academic disruptions caused by COVID-19.
The Woza Matrics 2021 Catch-Up Campaign, is led through a partnership between the DBE, National Education Collaboration Trust (NECT) and the Education, Development and Training Practices (ETDP) Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA).
"We urge all our learners to take advantage of the learning and teaching support materials as well as the support availed through the Campaign. We also have hundreds of zero-rated platforms on our website," Motshekga said.
Basic Education Employment Initiative
Since the opening of the sayouth.mobi site on 27 September 2021, the department has received more than 5.5 million applications from more than 3.9 million unique applications.
Through its Basic Education Employment Initiative, the department seeks to provide 287 000 unemployed young people employment and training opportunities in the basic education sector.
"As government, we are seeking to mitigate the devastating economic challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our young people will have an opportunity to receive training on a variety of skills, that will equip them for future employment opportunities and job creation, "the Minister said.
Motshekga has urged more people to apply before the application period ends on Sunday, 10 October 2021.