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D-Day approaches for matric exam approval

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Umalusi set to make a determination on whether the results can be approved for publication

File Picture Ian Landsberg/African News Agency (ANA).

Durban – On Friday the Department of Basic Education (DBE) will hold a results approval meeting with Umalusi, the quality control council, for the 2020 National Senior Certificate (NSC) exams.

This was revealed by the department’s chief director of National Assessment and Public Examinations Rufus Poliah on Wedneday in his presentation to the Basic Education Portfolio Committee.

“At this particular meeting the director-general, Mathanzima Mweli, will present a comprehensive report on the examination irregularities per province to Umalusi. On the basis of the report, both the Umalusi council and director-general will then make a determination on whether the results can be approved for publication,” said Poliah.

He said the main purpose of the approval meeting was to ensure that “no irregularity goes unchecked, but more importantly, no irregularity compromises the examination as a whole”.

Poliah added that the presentation would also include the leaking of Mathematics Paper 2 and Physical Science Paper 2.

He said the investigation of the paper leaks had five objectives:

– Establish the source of the leak

– Determine the extent of the leak

– Establish whether the examination in Maths and Physical Science has been compromised

– Identify specific candidates who have been implicated

– Make recommendations for the improvement of the examination system.

Poliah said the release of the results was dependent on Umalusi’s approval. However, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga would make the official announcement virtually on February 22.

Motshekga will be based at a central venue along with selected guests. Covid-19 safety measures will be in place. The MECs and selected guests will be based at selected provincial venues. The top achievers will be based at the provincial venues and the MECs will present the awards to the top achievers on behalf of Motshekga.

“Our intention is that all learner results should be released on February 23 and no result should be held back simply because it’s still under investigation,” said Poliah.

He said their marking was another success story and it was successfully completed. Marking had started on January 4 and ended on January 22, in 179 centres. At least 94.6% of the 45 272 markers reported for marking while 2 463 withdrew. The number of markers that tested positive for Covid-19 was 315 and seven markers had died.

Once the marks were captured, they would be submitted to Umalusi for approval, he said.

Poliah said the successful administration of the 2020 combined examination was a major achievement given the challenges related to Covid-19.

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