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Matric exams: Pupils sign pledge not to cheat

12 October 2018 - 11:22 By Timeslive
The basic education department said it had categorised exam centres based on a risk profile.
The basic education department said it had categorised exam centres based on a risk profile.
Image: Gallo Images

Matrics across the country will on Friday voluntarily sign a pledge not to cheat in the upcoming final exams.

A total of 629‚141 full-time pupils will write this year's matric exams‚ the basic education department said on Friday‚ adding that it is determined to ensure a credible exam process.

"On October 12 2018‚ candidates across the country will voluntarily sign a pledge to commit to upholding the integrity of the examinations by not participating in any malpractice‚" it said in a statement.

In addition‚ the department will keep a tight grip on the different points at which question papers are stored en route to schools.

"The Department has audited each of these points and only those points that comply with the stringent criteria are allowed to store question papers. These storage points will be closely monitored by the provincial education departments and the national department. The department has also engaged the services of all the security agencies who will assist in maintaining a presence where necessary and will respond to requests at short notice."

The department said it had categorised exam centres based on a risk profile‚ with customised monitoring to suit that profile.

"Examination centres that were implicated in any kind of examination malpractice in previous years will be monitored by a resident monitor based at the school. In addition‚ the department has intensified the invigilator training and targeted the standardisation of procedures across districts‚ which are the drivers of this training. Schools will exercise a zero tolerance in ensuring that any learner that attempts to resort to any unfair practice will be identified and severely punished."

The 2018 National Senior Certificate (NSC) examination starts on Monday‚ October 22‚ with the Non-Official Languages exams. However‚ on Monday October 15‚ 37‚340 candidates will embark on the first practical examination‚ Computer Examinations Technology (CAT). This will be followed‚ on Tuesday‚ October 16‚ by the practical exam for Information Technology (IT) for 4‚170 candidates.

In total‚ 796‚542 candidates‚ including part-time pupils‚ will write the NSC examination across 6‚888 centres‚ with the last exam taking place on November 28.

A total of 44‚505 markers have been appointed to mark the papers. This will start on December 1 in most provinces‚ except for the larger provinces‚ where marking will start earlier to ensure it is completed by December 15.

Meanwhile‚ this year‚ for the first time‚ the department will administer an exam in South African Sign Language at Home Language level to 58 deaf candidates across 10 schools. The question papers will be signed and learners will respond by signing. This will be recorded using the appropriate technology.

“The Department of Basic Education (DBE) has piloted its assessment processes in this regard‚ and we don’t foresee any difficulties with this examination‚” the department said.

Another first for the department‚ is the writing of the examination in Technical Mathematics and Technical Science. “The offering of these two subjects is in sync with the intention of the department to provide a broader scope of subject offerings for learners‚ so as to allow for a stronger vocational slant in the curriculum‚” it explained.

A total of 147 NSC question papers have been set‚ internally moderated by the DBE and approved by Umalusi. The question papers have been adapted for blind and deaf candidates. Brailing of question papers for the blind and the enlargement of font sizes for the partially sighted has also been completed.