By Hajira Khota
Due to the municipal elections scheduled on 1 November 2021, the Department of Basic Education has rescheduled the National Senior Certificate examinations forward.
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga and MECs conducted a special meeting to announce the change to the schedule, with the examinations moved to October 27 and 28.
The department of Basic Education spokesperson, Elijah Mahlangu, spoke to Radio Islam International, saying, “the amendments were necessary by the upcoming local government elections on 1 November 2021. Learners who are eligible to vote will now be able to do so”.
Mahlangu says that after consultations with stakeholders such as teacher unions and school boards, the decision was reached to make the change.
Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma revealed that the municipal elections would be held on 1 November, five days later than initially planned.
Nomusa Cembi, a South African Democratic Teacher’s Union (SADTU) spokesperson, says the organisation applauded the department’s decision to change the Matric exam schedule after consultations with DBE officials.
SADTU supported rescheduling the examinations to an earlier date rather than a later one, expressing concern about students emotional exhaustion, according to Cembi.
The KZN Parents Association applauded the government’s decision to advance the start of final matric exams by a few days.
The Class of 2021 has had a rough year. They were not only disadvantaged in their Grade 11 year due to school closures caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, but they were also affected in their last year of school due to the academic and learning time lost in 2020.
While schools closed earlier for the winter school vacations, as per President Cyril Ramaphosa’s level 4 lockdown order, Grade 12s continued with winter school programmes to make up for lost classroom time.
“Learners will receive their matric results on 20 January 2022,” says Mahlangu.
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