Media Release
Minister of Education Donald Grant
Western Cape

24 October, 2011

Majority of Western Cape candidates sit down to write.

Statement by Minister Donald Grant, Minister of Education, Western Cape

This morning, the majority of National Senior Certificate candidates sat down to write the first written paper of the 2011 NSC.

14 975 learners were registered to write the English Home Language Paper and 26 181 the English First Additional Language in the Western Cape.

I am pleased to announce that the day ran smoothly without any serious incidents.

I visited Groote Schuur High School to find out first-hand from candidates how they felt about their first written examination of the 2011 NSC.

Today, the schools' 96 Grade 12 candidates wrote the English Home Language paper.

Following the completion of the examinations some of the candidates expressed relief that the first examination was over and that they thought the paper was "fair" and "comprehensive".

The school is aiming to achieve a 100% pass rate this year, compared to 99.1% in 2010 and 98.9% in 2009.

I am confident that they can achieve this target in 2011.

But today's exams were the first of many to come and I would like to appeal to all candidates to remain focused.

Exams are stressful, even for people who have worked hard consistently throughout the year.

Learners who feel that they need help with examination stress can telephone the department's Safe Schools Call Centre toll-free at 0800 45 46 47.

Tomorrow, learners enrolled to write Accounting and German, Hebrew and Portuguese Second Additional Languages will be completing these examinations. There are 9 158 candidates enrolled for Accounting, 193 for German second additional language, 16 for Hebrew Second Additional Language and 23 for Portuguese Second Additional Language.

For enquiries, contact Bronagh Casey:  072 724 1422 or

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Extra information on the CAT examinations:

Given that the Computer Applications Technology Practical examinations are computer-based, strict security needs to be administered during these examinations in order to secure the data on the individual computers.

Officials of the WCED have visited all the CAT examination venues to ensure that all networks and stand-alone workstations have been properly set up, and all invigilators have attended training sessions organised by the WCED.

If a power failure occurs during the examination, the centre manager must immediately inform the local authorities and also ascertain from them, if possible, how long the power failure is likely to last. The WCED must also be immediately informed of the power failure.

Candidates must remain in the computer room until the power supply is restored. The time lost during the power failure will be allowed as additional examination time. If, after two hours, the power supply has not been restored, the examination will be re- scheduled in consultation with the WCED's Directorate: Examination Administration. In the event of an examination being cancelled because of a power failure, the candidates must do the back-up paper on a date set by the national Department of Basic Education.

In the event of a computer breakdown during the examination, candidates must be immediately moved to back-up equipment, and appropriate additional time must be provided to the candidates. However, no additional time will be allowed for work lost that was not correctly saved. The same procedures apply to the Information Technology paper that will also be completed next week.

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2011 Western Cape Education Department