Matrics testing positive for Covid-19 now allowed to write and finish exams

05 November 2020 - 09:28
Basic education minister Angie Motshekga says students who test positive for Covid-19 can now write and finish their exams.
Basic education minister Angie Motshekga says students who test positive for Covid-19 can now write and finish their exams.
Image: Cebisile Mbonani

The basic education department has made a U-turn on its decision not to allow matric pupils who tested positive for Covid-19 to write their final exams.

The department and the department of health had agreed on Wednesday evening to allow matrics testing positive for the virus to write their final exams.

Previously, the department said matrics who test positive for Covid-19 would not be allowed to write their exams in an effort to keep them, and those around them, safe.

It also said if matrics test positive for Covid-19 midway through the exams, they would not be allowed to finish their exams. However, they would be allowed to write in May/June 2021.

The department of basic education said it had subsequently received representations from parents and pupils requesting the government to review the decision.

“The two departments jointly considered the requests and deliberated on the practical implications. It was agreed that candidates who test positive, and deemed fit to write the examination, will be allowed to write, albeit at a different venue and under secure conditions that are in compliance with the examination regulations,” said the department.

Pupils whose temperatures are 38 °C or above after several scans, will write in isolation and will not be allowed to socialise with other pupils.

The department said it would ensure that candidates who have been confirmed to be positive are allowed to sit for the exams while ensuring that safety is observed.

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Minister Angie Motshekga, however, cautioned that the decision does not mean that pupils should now be complacent in terms of the safety measures aimed at preventing the spread of Covid-19.

“We welcome the intervention by the department of health given that a learner that tests positive becomes the responsibility of the department of health and no longer an education issue,” said Motshekga.

“The initial protocol of the department of basic education was wildly consulted and endorsed by the department of health but this change in the protocol is very helpful because it will give all learners an opportunity to write their exams.”


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