The Department of Basic Education has appealed to members of the public to support learners and refrain from blockading roads and storming schools as the country enters another week of the National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations.
The department has also appealed to learners to stop bringing crib notes and cell phones into the examination centres.
Director-General of the Department of Basic Education, Mathanzima Mweli, appealed to members of the community to allow the examinations to proceed.
The Director-General was speaking at a technical media briefing on the state of the progress of the National Senior Certificate examinations for the Class of 2022.
“The repercussions for not doing so are devastating to the learners and the communities themselves ,as it is the children of the same communities that suffer the consequences.
“In cases where learners are not able to write examinations, it means that they will rewrite the missed papers only in May/June next year. That is not fair on the learners, who have already endured a lot as a result of COVID-19, among other challenges,” Mweli said.
This comes after 53 learners from Etwatwa in Gauteng could not write exams, as there were gunshots fired in the area they were in.
There were also disruptions in parts of the Northern Cape, even though writing eventually took place but the environment has not been conducive.
Mweli said the department has also had to deal with cases where some schools denied learners the right to sit for the NSC exams because they are pregnant.
“The National Policy on the Prevention and Management of Learner Pregnancy states expressly that barring a learner from school on the grounds of pregnancy is discriminatory.
“A learner who is pregnant shall be allowed to sit for national examinations if her health condition permits,” Mweli said.
He said the school principal and staff, in collaboration with parents/guardians, shall take all reasonable steps to accommodate the learner’s learning, health and maternal needs during the examination period.
The department has further urged candidates and any other person who comes across any irregularities related to the current National Senior Certificate examinations to report to the department immediately.
Mweli said irregularities can be reported on the dedicated 24-hour WhatsApp line on 069 335 2818.
The Director-General thanked all officials involved in the administration of the NSC examinations for the sterling work done under difficult conditions.
He acknowledged that the rainy season does not make it any easier either but the department prays that it does not escalate into a crisis.
“We wish to also thank our sister departments such as SAPS, Defence, Health, Social Development, Weather Services and others who are always available to provide support,” he said.
Source: South African Government News Agency