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Media Release

5 October, 2007

Record increase in number of Western Cape matric candidates

Statement by Education MEC Cameron Dugmore

The number of candidates who have registered for the Senior Certificate exams has shown a marked increase in the Western Cape this year: from 62,251 in 2006 to 71,227 in 2007 - which represents a record growth of more than 14%!

This demonstrates a growing commitment to education in the province, regardless of the difficulties that so many of our young people face. They recognise that education holds the key to the future, and they are taking ownership of their future.

This has been an extraordinary year, given the strike in June, which affected schooling for up to three weeks in communities that could least afford this disruption.

Our schools, learners and support services have rallied to catch up via live revision programmes on 13 community radio stations; extra classes during the week; on Saturday mornings; and at Winter and Spring schools during the holidays.

The Western Cape is now fully prepared for the matric exams, which start on Monday 8 October and continue until 22 November 2007. We are confident that the extra effort put in by all concerned will make an important difference to the final results.

The numbers of full-time, part-time and private candidates have all increased. The number of full-time candidates has increased from 42,694 last year to 45,706; part-time candidates from 12,532 to 16,779; and private candidates from 7,025 to 8,742. The total number of candidates is 71,227.

The candidates will write 184 examination papers at 535 examination centres across the Western Cape. They will write 11 national question papers, introduced in 2006. The national papers are Geography, Afrikaans 2nd Language, Economics, Business Economics and Agricultural Sciences.

The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) is distributing 22 million paper copies of the exam papers. Candidates will submit about one million scripts for marking. We plan to release the results on Friday 28 December 2007.

Matric is an important milestone, marking the way to higher education, the world of work and adult life. We appeal to parents to support their children in preparing for these exams, and give them space and time to concentrate on their studies.

We urge candidates to remain focused. We ask that you use the last few days available to you to brush up on subjects you are unsure of, and to give every exam your best. I wish you every success.

For enquiries, contact Gert Witbooi 082 550 3938.


Issued by:
Gert Witbooi
Media Liaison Officer
Office of the MEC for Education
Western Cape
Tel: 021 467 2523
Fax: 021 425 5689

Visit our website: http://wced.wcape.gov.za

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2007 WCED