With this year’s matric exams more than a week away, Umalusi assured the Portfolio Committee on Basic Education that the class of 2020 will be assessed on the same standards of previous years, despite this year’s peculiar challenges.
Umalusi chairperson John Volmink said there was no doubt the academic year was “peculiar” due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and schooling was “severely affected” by the lockdown.
“We are grateful that we all stood together to keep the standards the same,” he added.
Otherwise, the class of 2020 would have been done a “great disservice” as they would have had to live with the stigma, Volmink said.
The director for curriculum implementation and quality improvement at the Department of Basic Education, Cheryl Weston, said they did not trim the class of 2020’s learning plan, but they did reorganise and repackage the annual teaching plan.
She added it would be the same National Senior Certificate (NSC) as previous years.
Umalusi found the national and the provincial departments of basic education have “acceptable levels of readiness” to conduct credible exams.
Committee chairperson Bongiwe Mbinqo-Gigaba said in a statement released after the meeting a lot of work was done in the background to ensure Grade 12 pupils were ready to sit for the final examinations.
“We further note that 1 058 699 candidates have registered for the exams. This includes full-time and part-time candidates, as well as those candidates who were supposed to have written examinations in June this year, which were cancelled due to the outbreak of Covid-19. This is a mammoth task.”
Mbinqo-Gigaba welcomed the decision that the class of 2020 would cover the full spectrum of the curriculum.
“This means that this class will be just as equipped to enter the world after school as any other Grade 12 before them,” she said.