Pretoria: It’s all systems go for the 2012 National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations, with the Department of Basic Education announcing its readiness to administer credible and fair exams.
A total of 527 335 full time learners and 120 352 part time candidates have registered to write the exams, which start on 22 October until 28 November 2012.
Briefing the media on the department’s readiness to administer the 2012 examinations, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga announced that 264 question papers have been set, moderated, approved by UMALUSI, edited and quality assured by the department.
“All non-language question papers are provided in the language of learning and teaching, that is English and Afrikaans, and in addition, the Independent Examination Board set 69 question papers for all non-official languages.
“We completed the adaptation of question papers for blind, partially sighted and deaf candidates; 59 question papers have been adapted for the blind and 45 papers adapted for deaf candidates,” Motshekga said on Thursday.
Approximately 1 445 question papers were set in Braille fonts specific to each individual candidate’s requirements. Teachers from schools for the blind and deaf were co-opted as special examiners.
Motshekga said the department had also published a training manual for invigilators and provinces had started their training.
Marking will take place in 118 marking centres across the country. Motshekga highlighted that markers were carefully selected.
“The department has agreed to support learners, who were previously registered with the Eksamenraad Vir Christelike Onderwys, an independent body, which was recently de-registered by UMALUSI.
“In order to accommodate these learners, a separate paper had to be set for English and Afrikaans literature, given that these candidates studied different set works,” she explained.
On the security of question papers and scripts before and after examinations, Motshekga said the department would continue keeping question papers in safe rooms, whose locations cannot be disclosed.
“Most provinces have installed CCTV cameras, biometric systems of access control and alarm systems at distribution points to avoid any security breaches. It is also important to single out Mpumalanga, which previously had security challenges, that this year, it has a state-of-the-art security system that surpasses all the other provinces.
“We cannot foresee any major discrepancies or irregularities. Where these occur, we have in place provincial examination irregularities committees that are fully functional in all provinces to ensure full and speedy finalisation of investigations into irregularities of any form or size,” said an optimistic Motshekga.