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Pupils benefit from MEO

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The MEO allows pupils to focus on subjects they are confident of in the November examination

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A GROUP of Grade 12 pupils are currently writing the last of their matric exams.

These were the pupils who were progressed from Grade 11 in 2016 and who opted at the end of last year to write a maximum of three of their matric subjects in June this year.

Department of Education spokesperson, Geoffrey van der Merwe, confirmed this week that the first group of pupils benefiting from department’s “Multiple Examination Opportunity” (MEO) are currently writing their examinations, which will conclude on June 29.

The MEO allows pupils to focus on subjects they are confident of in the November examination and to have an extended period to revise and prepare for the remaining subjects, almost six months later, in June of the following year.

“Grade 11 pupils, who were progressed to Grade 12 last year and who meet the stipulated criteria, will again be given the option to write some of their subjects at the end of this year, and the remaining subjects in June next year,” Van der Merwe said.

“This option is only available to progressed pupils,” Van der Merwe explained yesterday. “These pupils will be eligible to modulate, which means that they can write certain subjects at the end of this year and the remaining in June next year, which is limited to a maximum of three subjects.”

He added that is was an option offered to progressed pupils in Matric, and was not compulsory. “The pupils, together with their parents, can decide if they want to make use of this option, which is being offered by the Department of Education to ease the burden on progressed pupils.”

Van der Merwe pointed out, however, that the pupils would be guided by officials from the Department if they chose to modulate. “Obviously they will not be able to write all subjects in one sitting in November/December, but will write some in May/June next year.”

This year also saw the last cohort of matriculants write the Supplementary Examinations in March. This examination is now merged with the May/June examinations. Candidates who qualify for Supplementary Examinations, will also now write in May/June of the following year.

From 2019 the May/June examination will thus be open to candidates who were absent with a valid reason during the previous end of the year examination as well as candidates who need only two subjects to obtain their matric certificate and candidates who wish to improve their results to gain tertiary entrance.

This year in March a total of 1 775 candidates wrote the NSC Supplementary Examination, which saw the overall provincial pass percentage increase from 75.6% to 78.3%, an 2.7% increase.

Van der Merwe was unable to give details on the number of progressed matriculants who made use of the Multiple Examination Opportunity to write their remaining examinations in June this year, although 1 516 were registered to write. The examination only concludes on 29 June.

According to the Department of Basic Education, the policy on the MEO is intended to minimise the high dropout rate and maximise school retention. – Patsy Beangstrom