'Pens down' and lights off: Umalusi urges Eskom not to load-shed during matric exams

27 October 2021 - 08:00
By Cebelihle Bhengu
This year's matric exams will start on October 27.
Image: Gallo Images/Die Burger/Jaco Marais This year's matric exams will start on October 27.

Umalusi, the council for quality assurance in education and training, has urged power utility Eskom not to implement load-shedding during matric exams.

CEO Mafu Ramoketsi told the SABC Umalusi had appealed to the department of basic education to discuss mitigation measures with Eskom.

“We note Eskom is implementing load-shedding at the time when the examinations are about to commence. This is something the department of basic education has to discuss with the authorities at Eskom,” said Ramoketsi.

The power utility is implementing rotational stage 2 load-shedding until Saturday. 

The basic education department has said examinations will start today and end on December 7.

The department said 124,065 pupils will write the English home language paper and 609,830 will write English first additional language.

Last week Umalusi granted approval to the public and private sectors to administer the 2021 final examinations. 

“The continued reality of Covid-19 has resulted in the loss of valuable teaching and learning time in most parts of the country. This has undoubtedly put tremendous strain on the entire education system. Nevertheless, with proper planning and meticulous execution, the challenges presented by Covid-19 are not insurmountable,” said Ramoketsi.

He said the quality assurer would not tolerate incidents of cheating in the examinations, as seen in 2020. He urged teachers and examiners to refrain from leaking papers as this would compromise the quality of the examinations.