Day 1 of the 2020 matric exams was a success: Gauteng Education Department

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The Gauteng Department of Education says the first day of the 2020 matric exams was a success, despite the challenges of past months.

Department spokesperson Steve Mabona, says the first day of the exams, which are set to last until mid-December, was concluded without any major irregularities.

Mabona says two learners reported testing positive for coronavirus.

“Education officials in collaboration with the Department of Health officials ensured that both candidates were afforded an opportunity to write their examination under controlled conditions. The overall impression is that the examinations were administered with a high degree of integrity and credibility.”

Arrangements in place for those that get infected: 

Education authorities in KwaZulu-Natal say the matric examinations got off to a smooth start. There were, however, sporadic incidences of learners who wrote in isolation rooms due to risks associated with COVID-19.

Speaking at the Nyonithwele Secondary School in Edendale at Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal Education MEC Kwazi Mshengu said he is pleased that this year’s matric learners are able to start their final exams, even though it was debated a few months ago if the academic year should be extended into 2021 due to the pandemic.

More than 220 000 part-time and full-time candidates have registered for the matric exams in KwaZulu-Natal.

The English First Additional Language paper started off the big year-end exam: 

Lost time 

Teachers and learners had to contend with the temporary closure and re-opening of schools as the lockdown intensified. Mshengu says many teachers and learners worked seven days a week over the past month to make up for the lost time.

“Even going forward we have made arrangements that the learners when they are not writing that particular day,  they are required to come to schools so that the teachers can walk them through until the final examination. So, I am quite confident that despite the difficult conditions we have gone through we will be able to score a mark that will make the province proud.”