The Free State Department of Education has assured safety at all centres where candidates will write the 2018 National Senior Certificate examination. The department announced that approximately 30 000 full-time matric candidates are expected to write the exams. Exams started on Monday (15/10) with candidates writing Information Technology-related subjects and Computer Application Technology, and will finish on 28 November. Most candidates are expected to start writing on 22 October.Howard Ndaba, departmental spokesperson, said security has been tightened at all storage facilities and exam venues. “The department has audited each of the storage facilities, and only those that comply with the stringent criteria are allowed to store question papers. The department has also engaged the services of the police to assist where necessary,” Ndaba said.“Examination centres The other strategy employed by the department to strengthen the administration of the examination, is theare also categorised based on their risk profile, and monitoring is customised to suit the risk profile. “In addition, the department has intensified the invigilator training and targeted the standardisation of procedures across districts.” He said We are working full steam to ensure that nothing will interrupt the smooth flow of the examinations.candidates across the Free State have signed a pledge to commit to upholding the integrity of the examinations by not participating in any malpractice. all schools will exercise a zero tolerance in ensure that any learner who attempts to resort to any unfair practice will be identified. “Culprits would be severely punished. . Markers have been appointed and trained across all the five districts. The department has conducted an audit of marker appointments to ensure that only those that satisfy the criteria were appointed. ) Marking will commence on 1 December.