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Concern over shortage of markers

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Umalusi briefed the media yesterday morning about the state of readiness to administer and manage the 2019 matric exams

Picture: Pexels

CONCERN has been raised regarding the shortage of matric markers for Agricultural Sciences (Afrikaans), described as a key subject with high enrolments, in the Northern Cape.

While city matric pupils have entered the final leg before the start of their National Senior Certificate examinations, the Council for Quality Assurance in General and Further Education and Training (Umalusi) announced that it has granted approval to various assessment bodies to administer the end-of-year examinations.

Umalusi briefed the media yesterday morning about the state of readiness to administer and manage the 2019 matric exams.

Addressing the media in Parliament yesterday, the CEO of Umalusi, Dr Mafu Rakometsi, also indicated the council’s support for the proposed Grade 9 General Education Certificate (GEC).

Rakometsi said that contingency plans had been put in place to address the shortage of teachers in the interim, pointing out that it required the urgent attention of provincial departments.

While the Province still remains among those with high levels of vacancy rates in critical areas within examinations directorates, promises have been made to put measures in place such as allowing available staff to work overtime to mitigate the shortage of staff.

Umalusi’s role is to monitor and verify the work of public assessment bodies – the Department of Basic Education (DBE) and Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) – and private assessment bodies – Independent Examinations Board (IEB), the South African Comprehensive Assessment Institute (SACAI) and Benchmark Assessment Agency (BAA).

In terms of the National Senior Certificate (NSC), the 2019 examinations administered by DBE will be written by approximately 629 197 full-time and approximately 122 471 part-time candidates – with a total of approximately 751 668 candidates, which is a decrease of more than 40 000 candidates compared to 2018.

These examinations will take place at more than 6 900 centres across the country.

The IEB has registered 11 839 full-time candidates across the country and 840 part-time candidates at 215 full-time examination centres

Umalusi’s focus as part of its quality assurance of assessment regime is: on management, registration of candidates and examination centres, school-based assessment, printing, packaging and distribution of question papers, conduct of examinations, marker selection and appointment of marking personnel, systems for the capturing of marks and management of examination irregularities.

The Northern Cape Department of Education will host its district pledge signing ceremonies this morning throughout the Province, where all Grade 12 pupils are expected to confirm their commitment to work hard and to uphold the principles of honesty and integrity in the examinations.

The Premier of the Northern Cape, Dr Zamani Saul, will officiate the provincial pledge signing ceremony.