Matric numbers down
Pretoria - There will be 22 000 fewer pupils writing matric this year than last year, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said on Thursday.
A total of 620 266 pupils had registered to write the matric exams, down from 642 691 in 2010, she told reporters in Pretoria.
In previous years, the number of students who registered to write matric was boosted by those who had wanted to write the Senior Certificate before it was originally due to be phased out in May or June 2012, Basic Education director general Bobby Soobrayan said.
Of those registered to write the examinations this year, 512 029 were full-time pupils writing the National Senior Certificate, while 108 237 were part-time pupils, some of whom were writing the Senior Certificate, which was based on the old syllabus.
Earlier this year, Motsheka announced the extension of the Senior Certificate exam deadline until May or June 2014.
Among her reasons was the "unsuitability of the National Senior Certificate to accommodate Senior Certificate candidates", according to a notice sent to principals in August.
Most pupils were registered in KwaZulu-Natal, with 149 430, followed by Gauteng, with 122 788.
Only 230 632 of the registered pupils (37.1%) would write maths and 184 501 (29.7%) physical science.
The exams would cover 39 subjects, including the 11 official languages, and consist of 132 question papers. They would start on October 24 and end on December 1.
Fifty-three question papers had been adapted for Braille and 45 question papers had been adapted for deaf pupils.
Marking in eight provinces would start on December 2.
In Gauteng, marking would start on November 9 on a staggered basis as exams were completed.
"We can confirm confidently that we’re ready to administer a credible 2011 NSC examination," Motshekga said.
The exams will be held at 6 540 examination centres, and will be marked at 123 marking centres by 35 000 markers.
Motshekga said she was "relieved" there had been no labour problems.