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Government pleads with Eskom to put pupils first as they write exams

12 November 2021 - 19:29
Eskom promises to do better for students. Stock image.
Eskom promises to do better for students. Stock image.
Image: 123RF/beercrafter

Eskom has vowed to implement measures to reduce anxiety created by load-shedding for pupils embarking on their final examinations.

The basic education and public enterprises department met virtually with Eskom managers, led by CEO André de Ruyter, on Thursday to deliberate on the effects of load-shedding on basic education in general and the National Senior Certificate examinations in particular.

“De Ruyter expressed regret for the inconvenience caused to the matric candidates and the department saying that Eskom as an organisation understood the challenges brought by load-shedding. The department said that load-shedding was creating a general sense of anxiety and tension to candidates at a time when they should be totally relaxed and focused on writing their all-important examinations.

“The crucial period of preparing for the examination the night before is now disrupted by load-shedding. Added stress emanates from traffic congestion in the morning due to non-functioning traffic lights. In addition to this, the department tabled a set of proposals to Eskom for serious consideration,” the education department said in a statement.

The department emphasised that a consideration must be made for load-shedding to be avoided when the SA Sign Language Home Language is written on November 23 and 30 as it requires laptops and other assistive devices.

“The second proposal was for Eskom to suspend load-shedding every evening, from Sunday to Thursday, for four hours across the country, from 7pm to 11pm. This would allow learners to prepare for the examination to be written the following morning,” the department said.

Another proposal was to suspend load-shedding across the 194 marking centres, when matric exam marking starts from December 8 to 22, and also at the 37 capture sites from December 11 to 27.

Eskom said the proposals would be considered and that a team would be assembled to see how these measures could be implemented.

“De Ruyter indicated that other sectors had also made similar requests and that Eskom would consider the recommendations,” said the department.



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