THE Eastern Cape Education Department has announced that the examination system is ready for the 2017 final matric examinations. The National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations officially started this week. The Grade 12 learners wrote an English paper 1 examination on Tuesday. Accountancy will be written today (Wednesday), followed by Tourism tomorrow. On Friday they will write Paper 1 of Mathematics or Mathematics Literacy. Education Department spokesperson Malibongwe Mtima confirmed that more than 100 000 learners in the Eastern Cape are expected to sit for the NSC examinations from now until November 28. “For the NSC alone, the 2017 examination will be written by 83 968 full-time and 21 789 part-time candidates. “The figures indicate a slight decrease in full- time candidates but an increase in the number of part-time candidates when comparing 2016 and 2017,” he said. He added that the examinations would take place across more than 1 000 examination centres. “Provincial examination monitoring teams are ready to be deployed to all 23 districts and cover not less than 160 examination centres for face monitoring which is 15% of the total centres. “The district monitoring team will cover the rest of the exam centres in their districts.”Mtima said the monitoring team would provide daily reports to the “nerve centre” at the provincial head office, where a share call line would be established.Marking will begin on December 1 and end on December 15, at 17 identified centres. Mtima said the department would also be strengthening its monitoring on the examination process so as to ensure that the integrity and credibility on the exit examination is upheld in every examination centre, adding that the training of chief markers and marking moderators was conducted last month at Port Elizabeth’s Education Leadership Institute.“The appointment processes for more than 5 000 markers is in progress and the appointment letters are expected to be issued on October 31.”Mtima said the department had done everything possible to ensure that learners had been given the best possible chance to do well in the exams. “Grade 12 learners were flooded with extra and supplementary hybrid material to top up the conventional textbooks. “This was done to ensure that all learners are ready for their final examinations.“We wish the class of 2017 all the best and hope they will make us proud. “We also call on parents and guardians to support the learners and give them space to study and prepare for the exams.”The matric results will be released on January 5 next year.