SANDF on standby for matrics

2012-10-21 22:36
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Johanneburg - The defence force has been placed on alert as thousands of matrics prepare to tackle their year-end exams in the face of severe weather conditions.

Hope Mokgatlhe, spokesperson for Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga, said: “Nothing is going to stop the exams from going ahead.”

Mokgatlhe said the department had “engaged the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) to make sure that exam papers reach their destinations”.

“The SANDF has got vehicles that can deal with these kinds of conditions ... to make sure we don’t get stuck in the mud,” said Mokgatlhe.

More than 430 000 full-time matrics are registered to write the English Home Language and First Additional Language papers on Monday.

Mokgatlhe said the army was already standing by in Mpumalanga, where the rainy season has in the past caused difficulties.

The province's education department said it had asked local governments and the SANDF to ensure children get to exam centres and exam papers are delivered.

Education MEC Reginah Mhaule said preparations have gone so well for the exams, that the weather is the only unpredictable threat.

“Our threat remains the unpredictable weather patterns. However we are putting systems in place to ensure that we are proactive should we experience heavy rains during the time of writing,” she said.

In 2007, heavy flooding forced the Western Cape education department to set up alternative exam venues.

One student had to be airlifted by helicopter to write an exam.

Department ready


On Thursday, Motshekga announced that the department was fully prepared for the National Senior Certificate (NSC) exams.

She said that the exam “system has stabilised in many respects”.

“For example, over the past two years we have not experienced any question paper leaks, nor any serious incidents that could compromise the credibility of the NSC examinations.”

The department has also beefed up security, with Motshekga announcing improved security systems, including closed-circuit surveillance cameras, and access control for schools and exam halls.

Motshekga said the beleaguered Limpopo education department was ready for the exams.

She said that textbook delivery problems had not affected this year’s matrics.

She also expressed concern over South Africa’s low registration rates in terms of mathematics.

The registration figure for maths has dropped from 317 270 matrics in 2008 to 230 194 this year.

More than 527 000 full-time students and 120 352 part-time candidates are enrolled to write the 264 question papers on offer this year.

Other subjects that will be written this week include accounting and the physical sciences papers.

Are you doing your matric this year? Send us your story
- News24
Read more on:    sandf  |  angie motshekga  |  education  |  matric
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