Schools ready for exams - minister
Cape Town - It's all systems go for the end of year school exams in ten days time, despite the difficulties experienced this year, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said on Thursday.
"As a department, we're as ready as we could (ever) be," she told a media briefing at Parliament.
There is widespread speculation about pupils' readiness for the exams, particularly matriculants, given the disruptions of the 2010 Fifa World Cup and the prolonged public service strike.
"We are presenting more than 635 000 learners for this year's exams and it's all systems go; we're ready as a department for the exams," Motshekga said.
No glitches were expected as the department had done its security checks and all the necessary preparations on its part, she said.
Motshekga said she had been assured by all provinces that they were ready to run their exams.
"In terms of learners, we've also done the best we could to prepare them for (the exams).
Schooling during holidays
"The public should also note that, perhaps, it's an exaggeration to say we've had five weeks (of no schooling)," she said.
During the winter holidays, winter classes were run for matriculants nationally, and now in summer, there had also been summer camps in the various provinces.
"And again, I've got an assurance from different schools and also provinces that, indeed, our learners are as ready as they could possibly (ever) be."
Asked whether there could be a decline in the results, Motshekga said the department hoped not, despite the difficulties experienced.
"I'm quite hopeful that we can even actually have a better output in terms of the extra effort we did, which is also sometimes different from what we normally do in the year.
"So, I'm really hopeful that we don't have a decline. I think it will be the results which will confirm whether our extra efforts paid off.
"But as a department we are very ready for the exams which start ten days from now," Motshekga said.