Matric ’09 certificates out

2010-10-06 00:00

LAST year’s matrics can let out a sigh of relief after a 10-month wait for their matric certificates.

Principals of schools in Pietermaritzburg received their pupils’ certificates yesterday after a meeting departmental officials to tie up loose ends before the 2010 final exams, starting in three weeks.

The late release of matric certificates is nothing new.

The issuing of the National Senior Certificate for the class of 2008 was also delayed last year, after Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga had ordered a redesign of the certificate, wanting the coat of arms to be featured more prominently.

The issue attracted criticism from opposition parties, who demanded to know how much this would cost tax-payers and questioned why the department could not wait for the next financial year to implement this.

It was established that the specially marked paper used in printing the certificates had already been ordered and delivered from overseas.

Liz Burroughs, the senior manager for the qualifications, curriculum and certification wing of Umalusi, said challenges faced last year and this year were that a new qualification system had to be certified as a result of the first-ever National Senior Certificate examination written in South Africa, and that the Basic Education Department has implemented a new information system for logging the results.

She said the delay was made worse this year as lots of new factors come into play, “such as working with candidates who are repeating”.

The bulk of the NSC certificates were printed in August.

“Only the outstanding certificates are being printed this week,” added Burroughs.

She said this was because of payment issues for one province, which has not received the certificates.

She added that printing should occur within three months of the final exam.

“That is the standard to which we will revert to as soon as all the necessary systems developments has been done,” she added.

Burroughs said Umalusi and the Basic Education Department have agreed that candidates should not be disadvantaged by the delay.

Where necessary, the department has undertaken to write letters confirming the candidates’ results and explaining the delay.

Department spokesperson Granville Whittle confirmed that all matriculants were issued with a statement of results at the conclusion of their exams, which they could use to access tertiary institutions.

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