More than 200 matric pupils moved to safety after violent protests in North West
The start of the matric exams on Wednesday saw more than 200 pupils being relocated to other exam centres, after violent protests in North West.
“The department has noted with concern that 275 matric students from Valuveer, Gaopalelwe, Thuto Lore and Bloemhof Combined, North West Province, had to be relocated to safety following violent protests in the area,” said the department of basic education's spokesperson, Elijah Mhlanga.
He said the pupils were successfully evacuated and managed to write their exams at other centres.
Mhlanga said the department was, however, pleased that no major incidents were reported in most provinces, despite threats of protests in some parts of the country.
“There were isolated cases of schools allegedly denying some learners from writing their exams. These reported cases are dealt with immediately. The department strongly condemns any form of prejudice towards learners and is committed to ensuring that all learners stand a chance of obtaining their matric certificate,” said Mhlanga.
He said the police were on high alert and would intervene in matters where pupils could be prevented from writing exams.
According to the department, about 790,405 national senior certificate candidates wrote their first exam, English paper 1, on Wednesday, across 7,416 examination centres.
“The DBE further appeals to members of the public to safeguard the interests of the class of 2019 and refrain from disrupting learners from sitting for this most important examination towards obtaining their matric certificate,” said Mhlanga.