Umalusi CEO Mafu Rakometsi has appealed to communities not to disrupt matric exams in order to get government’s attention about their service delivery issues.

The CEO of the exams quality assurance body is concerned about the rise in community protests during exams.

However, the quality assurance body says despite the risks that have been identified ahead of the start of this year’s final matric exams, it’s satisfied with the Department of Basic Education’s readiness.

2018’s matric exams start on Monday with students writing technical subjects. The majority of Grade 12 learners will start their exams next week.

Rakometsi says protests are some of the external risks to the exams that are beyond their control.

“I, therefore, want to make a fervent appeal, to various members of the community across the country, not to use Grade 12 examinations and the future of our children as a bargaining tool for their own political ends. In the same, I further want to appeal to various members of the community across the country to refrain from destroying and burning school property in the hope that they will get attention from authorities. Such behaviour is shameful, unscrupulous and reckless,” says Ramoketsi.

Umalusi is also pleased with the preparations that have been done by the other independent assessment bodies – the Independent Examinations Board (IEB), the South African Comprehensive Assessment Institute (SACAI) and the Benchmark Assessment Agency(BAA).

Umalusi says risks include schools, districts or provinces that have previously been implicated in group coping and paper leaks, as well as a shortage of markers for some subjects in some provinces.

Rakometsi says “These concerns have been brought to the attention of the provincial heads of department and the director general of the department of Basic Education for corrective action before the start of the examinations. We’ll be monitoring that space to make sure that the necessary remedial actions are taken before the examinations commence. However, regardless of the identified risks, our system is ready to administer the 2018 final examinations.”