A new era for Grade 12s next year

2010-10-24 09:18

Next year will usher in a new era for ­Mpumalanga ­matriculants, according to ­Nkosinathi Sishi, chief of exams for the ­Department of Basic Education.

When this year’s matric exams are over, a new exam unit will be ­instituted in the province.

“Currently, we have appointed trainers to work with new officials we have identified,” he said this week.

“We have chosen individuals with integrity and clean records.”

In the meantime, at least 200 officials from the department’s national examination unit are in Mpumalanga to run the final exams.

The officials were dispatched to the ­province in January this year after 13 people, including an official from the department, were arrested last year in connection with leaked exam papers.

Sishi said when news of the leaks broke, it was shocking because the department had, over the past five to 10 years, succeeded in eliminating serious shortcomings in the ­system.

“It warranted serious measures. Basic ­education minister Angie Motshekga was bold enough to take the step of ­replacing the entire Mpumalanga exam unit consisting of more than 60 people,” he said.

Education quality assurance council Umalusi has admitted that the security of the ­examinations remained a concern.

But the council’s top brass insisted it was satisfied with the department’s intervention.

Meanwhile, learners and teachers at Cyril Clarke High, a farm school near Mataffin, say they are well prepared and ready despite breaks during the World Cup and a public ­service strike, according to City Press reporter Sizwe Sama Yende.

“Yes there were disturbances but for us life went on as usual,” said Dumisani Mbewe (19).

“Since the beginning of the year we were attending classes on Saturday. During the World Cup, we went on as if nothing was ­happening,” he said.

Matric pupils at the Valencia Combined School in Nelspruit attended classes at a ­community library during the strike.

Principal Siva Pillay said: “We teach extra hours throughout the year, and conduct ­winter and ­Saturday classes.”
Pupils were given this past week off to ­prepare on their own.

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