Umalusi ready for matric exams

2011-10-18 12:05

Johannesburg - Matric exam systems and processes are in place and all shortcomings have been identified, Umalusi said on Tuesday.

"Umalusi monitored the state of readiness in Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape, Limpopo, North West and Free State as well the private assessment bodies," Umalusi chief executive Mafu Rakometsi said in Johannesburg.

"Umalusi moderates the question papers to ensure that they are of the required standard, are fair and reliable."

Rakometsi said Mpumalanga would be closely monitored during the 2011 matric exams as the administration of examinations had been handed back to the province.


Last year, the department of basic education took over the management of matric exams in the province to prevent irregularities seen in the previous years.

Rakometsi said Umalusi would continue to monitor Mpumalanga.

Another province which had been of concern was the Eastern Cape.

The national government announced an intervention in the province in March after myriad problems surfaced.

Rakometsi said Umalusi was monitoring the Eastern Cape and that all exam processes were in place in the province.

"The Eastern Cape is not to be treated differently," he said.

Umalusi monitors the examination processes by the department of basic education, department of higher education and training, Independent Examinations Board (IEB) and the Eksamensraad vir Christelike Onderwys (Erco).

A total of 512 129 full-time pupils and 108 237 part-time pupils were writing the department of basic education final exams which started on October 16.

About 130 000 pupils had enrolled for the National Certificate Vocational through the department of higher education, and started writing exams on October 10.

A total of 8 200 full-time and 500 part-time pupils would write the IEB exams starting on October 26 and 1 200 candidates were writing the Erco exams which started on October 14.

Standardisation of exams

Umalusi said the conduct of examinations at private schools and centres nationwide was problematic.

"A large number of irregularities are attributed to these centres," said Rakometsi.

Rakometsi said this year had been relatively incident-free for education, without any major disruptions.

Last year, the education sector was plagued by strikes.

Umalusi still had to verify the marking and standardisation of exams.

Standardisation was a normal practice done every year, said Rakometsi. He said the strikes last year and the Soccer World Cup were not the reason for standardisation.

"We did not compensate for the strike and the world cup. Standardisation is always there," he said.

Umalusi would conduct its standardisation process between December 21 and 23.

The approval meeting for the release of the national examinations would take place on December 30.