KZN Education has confidence in matric class of 2023

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KwaZulu-Natal Education MEC Mbali Frazer says she is confident that the matric class of 2023 is ready for the start of the national senior certificate examinations on Monday.

Frazer held a media briefing about province’s readiness for the matric exams.

This as schools in the province faced several challenges in the past year, including a freeze on the filling of teacher vacancies, which left some classes without teachers.

Over 193 000 candidates will write their matric examinations in KwaZulu-Natal this year.

The province has the highest number of learners sitting for the examinations.

The department is optimistic of a good pass rate, saying everything was done to assist learners in their preparations, including extra classes and winter classes.

In 2022, KwaZulu-Natal had an 83% matric pass rate.

However, last weekend 42 schools in the province were damaged by heavy rains and strong winds that wreaked havoc in different parts of the province.

Deputy Director General in the department, Weziwe Hadebe, says they have asked schools to use undamaged classrooms as exam venues.

“We will continue even over the weekend to provide mobile classrooms to the affected schools but what we have done as well is to request the schools to utilise the undamaged facilities within the schools whilst we are installing mobile classrooms and we are confident that all those processes will be finalized over the weekend. So, we are ready and what we have done as well, we have embarked on urgent repairs by contractors to those schools because you know that the mobiles are not going to be there forever, so the urgent repairs are under way.”

Two weeks ago, teachers’ union SADTU marched in Durban to raise their concerns about grievances that include schools not receiving their full government budget, vacant teaching posts and teachers not receiving their wage increases.

This educator, who wished to remain anonymous, said several of the classes at the school where he works, do not teachers.

“We have to share. Sometimes we have relief classes. But relief is not attended. So, sometimes you rotate teaching and you see that class. And then after seeing that portion of the class, you see that other portion to try and balance off but some portion ended up not being taught.”

Speaking during the media briefing, another Deputy Director General of the Department, Advocate Bheki Masuku, said they are prioritising the issue of educators.

The department says matric exam question papers will be escorted by security personnel to ensure that there are no leaks.

The department says members of the SANDF and police are on standby to help with the delivery of question papers in case the weather poses a problem.