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Matric marking process to begin

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The head of examinations in the Department of Basic Education has detailed the department’s readiness to begin the marking process for this year’s Grade 12 exams. The process is expected to start in earnest in a few days’ time.

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said the Grade 12 exams have “progressed smoothly thus far”. File picture: Ian Landsberg

THE HEAD of examinations in the Department of Basic Education (DBE) has detailed the department’s readiness to begin the marking process for this year’s Grade 12 exams. The process is expected to start in earnest in a few days’ time.

Dr Rufus Poliah gave a technical briefing on how the exams had proceeded and the processes to follow.

“We have 184 marking centres and our markers have all been appointed. We have strict criteria for markers. We have conducted an audit of selected markers in each of the provinces to make sure there is strict compliance,” he said, adding that if an educator was at a marking centre and it was discovered they should not have been appointed, they would be withdrawn.

Poliah said there were 52,157 markers across the country and 145 marking standardisation meetings were taking place.

“These are meetings of critical importance. At these meetings every question is looked at with a fine-tooth comb. We have internal moderators, chief markers together with the examining panel and Umalusi panel that sit over three days, go through every question, look at what are the various interpretations of this particular question, look at what are the possible responses that learners sitting under exam conditions would have presented, and that is put into a marking guideline so that no learner is disadvantaged.”

The head said if a question was found to be erroneous in some way, regardless of how minor, such a question would then be removed so that no learner was disadvantaged.

Poliah said for the third time this year they would be engaging in electronic marking.

“This is part of the new technology of modernisation where markers need not necessarily be located at a marking centre to mark. All they do is log in to a specific software package, the scripts are uploaded and the markers are able to mark, even from the comfort of their homes.

“Obviously all of this is done based on thorough training and under very controlled conditions – very similar to the conditions that would be implemented while the marker is at a marking centre.”

He said all provinces would be engaged in electronic marking.

“Gauteng is ahead in this particular area. They will be marking accounting paper 1 and 2 together with mathematics.”

In the other provinces, he said, electronic marking would be done for mathematics paper 2 and music, but this would be done on a small sample to give markers a feel of what electronic marking entailed.

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has described the Grade 12 exams as secure.

“Our primary goal was to conduct these crucial examinations error-free, and uphold their integrity.

“The director-general and his team will update us on the progress of the 2023 NSC exams. We can confirm that the 2023 NSC exams have progressed smoothly thus far, with few incidents reported.

“I can confirm that there have been no major compromises to the 2023 NSC exams – no leakage of question papers, contrary to some fake news reports that circulated earlier alleging that there was a leak.

“I can categorically say that we have had a smooth exam, except for the isolated cases of crib notes, possession of cellphones and impostors having been reported.”

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