Learners who were progressed to Grade 12 from 2018 stand a better chance of obtaining matric passes and entering varsity.
This is after policy changes were made to allow them to write two sets of examinations with fewer subjects each starting this year and in June next year. This was said at Realogile Secondary School by Bheki Ngubane, Gauteng province’s chief director for examinations during the National Senior Certificate Examinations Pledge signed simultaneously countrywide by the Class of 2018.
The pledge is part of the Department of Basic Education’s effort to clean up the examination system and process which has been tainted by cheating and other shenanigans compromising its credibility.
Ngubane told the learners that as they were part of the few schools to have department officials at the launch of the countrywide pledge, much is expected of them. “You should lead by example through good conduct and performance during the final matric examinations starting on 22 October. “The oath is your commitment not to cheat, bring unauthorised material into the examinations room, deceive or be deceived by others, act with a high degree of integrity and to blow the whistle on transgressors.”
He added that the initiative was more significant in Gauteng province which has the second highest number of examination candidates to KwaZulu-Natal. “You hold the trump card and if your conduct and results in your last examination opportunity slip, the outcome will tarnish the integrity of the national outcome and also your dream of progressing to varsity education and better prospects in life.
“Commit to be the pride of the school, teachers and department which have prepared you and to change the social status of your families.”
He said every candidate, including progressed ones, have a better chance for tertiary studies after the system of designating subject combinations for varsity entry was abolished. “All subjects will have an equal weighting for the entry and access to financial and other support.
“Progressed candidates with good passes will also be eligible to MEC Panyaza Lesufi’s bursaries to be allocated to three best-performing students.”
Ngubane also urged the progressed pupils not to despair as ‘intelligence alone is not the benchmark for success in the examinations but your differentiated capabilities coupled with sufficient allocated time in the two sittings’.
He advised all candidates to practise on past examination papers and peg themselves on their performance in the trial examinations which he said were an indicator of their potential performance in the final exams as about 70 per cent of the questions may relate with what was in the trial exam papers.
Ngubane further urged their preparation to include a balanced diet, lots of vegetables and fruit, exercise, drink lots of water, reading and understanding the exam questions before attempting to answer and also, to pray.
“Should you fail, know that it stands for, ‘first attempt at learning’.