Nkonyeni appeals to parents to help matrics

2013-10-14 00:00

WITH only two weeks left before thousands of matric pupils start writing their final school exams, parents have been asked to give children the support they need to overcome this hurdle.

KZN Education MEC Neliswa Peggy Nkonyeni pleaded with parents to help their children at the weekend. Nkonyeni also declared that her department was ready to administer the 2013 National Senior Certificate (NSC) exams to commence on October 28.

“We have only two weeks left and it is important we give learners, teachers and their schools the support,” she said in her first media conference as Education MEC.

Nkonyeni said she wanted an improvement in the number of pupils passing maths and science.

Nationally 613 704 pupils will sit for their exams while in KwaZulu-Natal 150 061 full-time candidates have enrolled to write the NSC exams this year. This represents an increase of 17 558 compared to the 132 503 pupils who wrote last year. There are 24 733 candidates who have enrolled on a part-time basis.

“The part-time candidates represents a group of learners who are given a second opportunity to either improve their previous performance in the NSC, or who may still have outstanding subjects to qualify. We have accredited 1 733 centres to conduct the administration of the NSC across the province. Two rural districts, uThungulu and Zululand, have the highest number of exam centres — 194 and 201 respectively,” she said.

Nkonyeni said this demonstrates government’s commitment to ensure that rural communities have access to education. She said the province is one of the biggest exams sub-systems in the country, with 8 426 markers, 1 610 senior markers, 209 deputy chief markers and 79 chief markers.

“The different layers of markers are to ensure that marking is conducted in a fair and transparent manner, offering each candidate a fair chance of evaluation and therefore a chance of success,” she said.

Department head Nkosinathi Sishi said they have no exam fears owing to the levels of preparation, including camps for matric pupils this year.

He said the department had intervened at schools that recorded the lowest pass rate of 35%.

“A special programme known as Operation Scaffold was introduced to improve the pass rate at those schools. A report we have indicates that those schools have shown a significant improvements,” he said.

The province wanted better results compared to what they achieved last year, he added.

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