The 2020 National Senior Certificate exams will go ahead as planned in November and December this year, according to new directions gazetted on Tuesday which addresses the functioning of schools during Covid-19.
These exams will be subject to the realignment of the timetable for the 2020 revised school calendar, the directions say.
However, the Senior Certificate and the National Senior Certificate exams, meant to be written by more than 350,000 part-time candidates in May and June this year, were postponed to November and December.
The Department of Basic Education announced this postponement in April and gazetted it on Tuesday.
Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, previously explained that a trimmed school curriculum would be developed following the lockdown’s disruption of the school year and to make up for lost time.
According to the gazette, the adjusted curriculum contains revised teaching plans and support guidelines.
“In order to accommodate the teaching time lost as a result of the national state of disaster and the adjustment of timetables, the curriculum, as articulated in the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement, has been reviewed by the Minister in accordance with section 3(4)(l) of the National Education Policy Act,1996 (Act No. 27 of 1996), which empowers the Minister to determine national policy for curriculum frameworks, core syllabuses and education programmes,” the gazette says.
The changes are only for the 2020 school year and school will revert to the original curriculum in 2021.
Schools must operate at 50% capacity or less at any given time, according to the regulations and may consider timetable rotations to accommodate this.
This means that in order to implement physical distancing in schools, the timetable may be rotated or adjusted to ensure schools do not become crowded at any point.
However, schools that have large enough facilities can be exempt from this directive and may operate at full capacity.