First day of Matric exams goes well in Gauteng

Gauteng Education MEC Matome Chiloane is pleased that the first day of the 2023 National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations, which began on Monday, went well in the province.

In a statement, the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) said that a majority of its districts had no issues in facilitating the writing of English Home Language Paper 1 and English First Additional Language Paper 1 on Monday.

The GDE said that most candidates were present and honoured all rules and regulations as expected.

“We have noted a few instances of absenteeism among full-time candidates in our districts. In Tshwane West, a majority of full-time candidates attended.

“However, about eight candidates approached officials, stating that they were not ready to write; two other candidates did not write due to unknown whereabouts, which is concerning. Three other candidates were also hospitalised due to health issues, and were unable to write,” the GDE said.

In Ekurhuleni South, most full-time candidates also wrote their exam. However, one candidate was caught with a cellphone in the exam centre, which is not allowed. In such an instance, the GDE said the candidate might not be resulted on the subject in question, which is disadvantageous towards their final results.

The GDE explained that they also recorded a concerning rate of absenteeism among part-time candidates from all districts as well.

To this end, the department has re-emphasised the commitments which candidates vowed to fulfill by having signed the NSC pledge. Candidates are discouraged from transgressing their pledge. Candidates are urged to always adhere to exam rules and regulations to maintain the integrity of the examinations and their future.

The GDE further emphasised that all candidates must honour their exams and regulations, as outlined in the pledge. Therefore, unwarranted absenteeism is unacceptable.

The department expressed its deep sadness at an incident where a full-time candidate from Unity Secondary School in Daveyton, Ekurhuleni, tragically took her life by allegedly poisoning herself on Sunday, 29 October 2023, a day before the exams.

Candidates are reminded of the Mental Health pledge they signed, urging them to reach out to the support structures and resources that have been made available in instances where they might be facing internal difficulties during these exams.

Such structures include Childline, which can be contacted by dialing 116; and the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG — 080 045 6789), which is available on all telephonic and online platforms.

“Despite the first day of exams having went smoothly in Gauteng, we are devastated by the loss of one candidate, who took her own life just before her first exam. We wish to convey our sincerest condolences to her family and the school community at large.

“Learners are urged to use our available structures to express any issues they are facing. Our officials are more than happy to help. Candidates are also encouraged to honour their commitments to these exams and refrain from being absent,” Chiloane said.

Source: South African Government News Agency

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