Minister Schäfer appeals to all residents to avoid disrupting exams
Statement by Minister Debbie Schäfer, Minister of Education Western Cape
The practical exams for the National Senior Certificate (NSC) exams for 2021 begin tomorrow. 10 058 learners will complete their Computer Applications Technology (CAT) practical exam on Tuesday, while 875 learners have their Information Technology practical exam on Wednesday.
Load-shedding and CAT/IT practical exams
Unfortunately, we face the looming threat of load-shedding, which was implemented for a large part of last week. It is extremely disappointing that this has again reared its head just as the NSC practical tasks are set to begin.
So significant is this risk that, despite the Department of Basic Education engaging with Eskom in the hope of preventing power supply disruption this year, it has taken the precautionary step of scheduling a re-write of these practical exams into the matric exam calendar (7 December). The WCED is also prepared with standard procedures to follow in the event of a power supply disruption (whether scheduled or not).
I appeal to Eskom to do everything it can to prevent disruption to power not only during these practical exams, but also during the exam sittings from 27 October onwards. Back-up procedures are all very well, but they are disruptive to learners, so we would rather avoid having to use them.
Disruptions and transport strikes
It is also unfortunately that time of year when protests and strikes become more frequent. Earlier this year we saw the devastating effects of a taxi strike on school attendance, and it is my sincere hope that this does not happen again during the exam period. I am also conscious of the impending election, and the tendency of these to bring out disruptive behaviour.
Any action that prevents learners from getting to their exams – and writing them in peace – is unacceptable and adds extra unnecessary stress to what is already a very stressful time.
So please, politicians, community groups, and commercial organisations, I appeal to you to put the interests of our children first over the next two months. This is the first matric class to have spent their entire Grade 12 year in pandemic conditions. They have been through enough. We owe it to them to make sure that they have the best possible chance of succeeding in these exams and completing their school career.
Spokesperson to Minister Debbie Schäfer
Western Cape Ministry of Education