The Department of Basic Education says despite concerns over load shedding and the possible negative impact it could have had on matric candidates, the start of the national senior examinations went off without any reported problems.

The exams got under way this morning.

Eskom has implemented stage four load shedding until Friday morning when it will revert to stage two. The matric exams were brought forward by four days to accommodate the local government elections, taking place on Monday.

The Department’s spokesperson is Elijah Mhlanga, “We were a little bit nervous because we had a large number of matriculants writing today, English paper 1.  We had 609 000 of them. So the movement of that kind in one day is a concern, especially in the context of load shedding, which could cause havoc in traffic resulting in delays for some candidates. But fortunately, everyone arrived on time and we did not receive any reports indicating that there was a problem anywhere, so we are pleased with that and we hope that it will remain that way the entire period.”

Mhlanga gives more details on day 1 of exams:

Minister optimistic Class of 2021 will deliver

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga says she has high hopes for the matric class of 2021.

However, she is worried about the two tumultuous years which they endured to prepare for the final exam.

The Class of 2021 only had half a year of schooling during 2020 and the hard lockdown; and when they returned they could not go to class every day of the week due to COVID-19 regulations.

Motshekga says she hopes the support shown to the class of 2021 will be carried forward to future matric classes.

She says, “There has been lots of pressure on them. But the good thing I’m really hopeful we will sustain is there is lots of support for them, we have the Woza Matric, you have the private sector.”

“Everybody has really been crowding around them, and teachers also are quite conscious that it’s a class which is seriously disadvantaged because of the 2020 pandemic. So there has been lots of support. I do hope the support that has been gathered inside and outside government will be sustained for other years,” adds Motshekga.