The Western Cape Class of 2021 in numbers - News | Western Cape Education Department

The Western Cape Class of 2021 in numbers

24 October 2021

Statement by Minister Debbie Schäfer, Minister of Education Western Cape

73 966 candidates will write the 2021 November National Senior Certificate exams in the Western Cape. This includes 59 849 full time candidates, and 14 117 part-time candidates.

This is an increase from the 54 741 full time and 10 588 part time candidates who wrote last year in November. However, the total number of candidates writing in that session last year was much higher – nearly 100 000 – because it included the Senior Certificate and supplementary exam candidates from the cancelled June 2020 exams.

The very first exams to be written will be English Home Language, English First Additional Language and English Second Additional Language, with a total of 63 202 learners writing in the morning session of 27 October 2021.

The subject with the largest number of candidates this year is Mathematical Literacy, with 48 658 candidates writing Paper 1 on 5 November, and Paper 2 on 8 November. Three subjects have just one candidate writing: Sepedi Home Language, isiZulu Home Language, and IsiZulu First Additional Language.

This year will also see Marine Sciences written as a matric exam for the first time. The subject was introduced as a pilot project for Grade 10s in 2019 at three schools in partnership with the Two Oceans Aquarium. The curriculum, which is approved by Umalusi, covers five areas: Marine Geography and Geology; Marine Chemistry; Marine Physics; Marine Biology; and Humans and the Ocean. Five schools now offer the subject.

The first cohort of 12 matric candidates will write Paper 1 on 9 November and Paper 2 on 23 November. They are the first candidates in South Africa, and indeed in Africa, to write the Marine Sciences subject.

The annual November exam presents a mammoth administrative task. Exams will be written at 486 examination centres, with 1 887 invigilators appointed to oversee the writing.

3 367 markers will mark 890 000 examination scripts at 11 marking centres. Marking will take place between 9 and 22 December. The national Minister will announce the results on Thursday 20 January 2022, and individual results will be available at schools on Friday 21 January 2022.

Every year, while many of us are relaxing and celebrating with family over the festive season, our exam officials are hard at work to ensure that results are submitted on time and without incident, in preparation for the January release. I thank them for putting in long hours to make sure our exam process runs smoothly, and I wish them all the best for the next few weeks.

Media Enquiries:
Kerry Mauchline
Spokesperson to Minister Debbie Schäfer
Western Cape Ministry of Education