Matric exams kicked off on Wednesday with more than 897 000 Grade 12 pupils seated for their final-year papers.
Matric exams: Here are the rules
The first true test for the Class of 2021 will be the English paper. The Department of Education confirmed in a statement that 609 830 pupils will sit for the English First Additional Language examination, while 124 065 and four other matriculants take English Home Language and Second Additional Language paper, respectively.
The department noted that despite the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s matric exam will be administered in the same manner as previous ones.
However, because in some instances, invigilation may be impossible, due to candidates testing positive before an exam and requiring self-isolation, for example, extra measures have been taken to ensure each pupil complies with the rules.
This is why the Class of 2021, as well as their parents, had to sign a ‘commitment agreement’ which stipulates that:
- any pupil who is found to be in contravention of the examination rules may have their results deemed null and void and, if found guilty, the guilty pupil may be banned from sitting for an examination for one to three years
- candidates caught leaking examination papers could be criminally prosecuted
- pupils who receive leaked examination papers via WhatsApp, SMS or e-mail and fail to report the crime to the hotline will be deemed as being complicit
- candidates must complete the Electronic Devices Register, which informs the school of the pupil’s access to cellphones, laptops etc.
- candidates who solicit help from parents, invigilators and fellow learners will be deemed as cheaters and will be punished accordingly
- candidates who’ve had access to exam papers before the date of the test will be investigated and possibly prosecuted
The Department of Education confirmed that from their side, all systems are ready to guide the Class of 2021 on their final high school examination.
“The Department of Basic Education urges South Africans to rally behind the class of 2021 ahead of the start of the final grade 12 examinations this week. Parents are requested to be extra vigilant to ensure that learners do not resort to engaging in any activity relating to examination irregularities,” the statement read.
Ramaphosa praises ‘resilient’ Class of 2021
President Cyril Ramaphosa also chimed in with his tribute to this year’s matriculants. He noted the resilience it took for this class which endured the hardships of making it to the final stage of high school in what was a very challenging Grade 11 curriculum.
“The Grade 11s of 2020 persisted with their studies in a year in which COVID-19 arrived on our shores, with its devastating impact on our physical and psychological wellbeing. This year we place our arms of support around the Class of 2021 who have persevered and endured in their effort to create a better future for themselves, their families and our economy.
“We wish you the best of success in your final revision and in your examinations, which will lay the foundations for your life as independent, adult members of our society,” he said.
The metric exams will conclude on 7 December 2021. Malusi has yet to indicate the timeline of the 2021 matric results.