his year’s local government elections will be held on a Monday, a date that coincides with the first matric language exams. The Basic Education Department unpacks steps that it will have to take to ensure that the exam is written on a more convenient date. Advertisement
It appears that there may be a clash of schedules between the upcoming local government elections and the first final matric exam. This is due to the recent announcement that the elections will be held on Monday 01 November 2021, a date that coincides with the first matric language exam.
What makes this even less ideal for the education department is that during elections, many schools are used as voting stations and teachers are appointed as election officials.
Basic Education Spokespersons says that they will have to move the exam to a different date because the department had initially planned to start with this year’s final matric exam on 01 November.
We were due to start the final grade 12 examinations on the first of November with English as a subject to be written and it’s written by everybody in the system since it’s the biggest paper in the system. But right now we will have to go back to the drawing board because it can’t happen anymore following that announcement by Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma.
He adds that a decision is yet to be made on which alternative date the exam may have to be moved to since it will definitely not be written on 01 November.
Mhlanga further states that the department may have to consider moving the first exam to the original election date of 27 October and the second one the following day since there is no exam schedule for that week.
The second postponement option would be to move the exam to the end of the timetable, meaning that it would be written during the first week of December. The Department concedes that this will impact learner preparation time as both postponement options have advantages and disadvantages.
He also points out that the final decision on the matter will be taken after a series of meetings between the basic education department and other stakeholders in the sector on Friday afternoon.
In terms of schools being used as voting stations, he says that once arrangements between the basic education department and IEC has been finalized, they will take steps to ensure they are converted to facilities that adhere to Covid-19 safety protocols.