Matric exam timetable amended to accommodate elections

The start date for the National Senior Certificate examination has been moved to 27 October 2021 from the initial starting date of 1 November 2021, to accommodate the upcoming local government elections.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Department of Basic Education said that the English Paper 1, Business Studies Paper 1 and the non-official languages Paper 1, which were originally scheduled for 1 and 2 November, will now be written on 27 and 28 October respectively.

The decision comes after the Council of Education Ministers held a special meeting following a series of consultations with key stakeholders in the basic education sector.

“The changes were necessitated by the local government elections which will take place on 1 November 2021. Learners eligible to vote will now be able to cast their ballots,” the department said.

The Council of Education Ministers had approved the 2021 NSC examination timetable in May, however, last week the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, announced that the local government elections would take place on 1 November 2021.

“On Friday, 10th September 2021, consultations took place with key stakeholders that included teacher unions, school governing body associations and professional bodies.

“The purpose of the consultation sessions was to deliberate on what would be the most appropriate option regarding a change to the timetable, given that there are five weeks from the commencement of the examination,” the department said.

The department added that there are 207 question papers to be written over 25 days (5 weeks) and there no vacant sessions in the current timetable. Therefore, the re-scheduling needed to be confined to either prior the commencement date or post the conclusion date.

“The best interest of the learner was a key consideration in addition to ensuring that a minimum change to the current timetable was made to avoid confusion,” the department said.

The department has urged candidates preparing for the examination to keep working hard.

In a bid to offer support and assistance to learners, the department has made available a wide range of resources with support materials on different platforms through the remote and digital learning programme Woza Matrics.

The learning materials will be delivered across these channels DBETV channel 122 on Openview, SABC1, DSTV CatchUp & Showmax, on Mondays and Thursdays from 23h00 to 00h00, Saturdays from 06h00 to 10h00 and Sundays from 07h00 to 08h00.

The Woza Matrics programme also offers learners with some psycho-social support, tutor support and exciting competitions.

Source: South African Government News Agency

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