June matric exams axed to recoup lost curriculum time

Johannesburg – The decision to cancel the June matric examinations was communicated to schools last year.

The Department of Basic Education, which announced this week that matric pupils would not write the June examinations in order to catch up on the curriculum, said all schools were informed that the exams would be scrapped when schools reopened this year.

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga revealed this while briefing the portfolio committee on basic education on the impact of Covid-19 on teaching and learning this week.

The spokesperson for the department Elijah Mhlanga said because of Covid-19, the grade 11 class of 2020 did not finish its curriculum last year.

“They are the current matric class of 2021. They are worse off because they need to finish the curriculum for two reasons; they didn’t finish the syllabus of 2020 and schools started late for academic year 2021.

“In order to recoup some lost curriculum time, they didn’t close in the last school recess. As an additional measure the normal assessments, normally referred to as June exams, will not take place. This group has never written matric before so this is part of their final year exams preparation,” said Mhlanga.

Last year the May/June amended senior certificate and the national senior certificate examination were also postponed as a result of the Covid- 19. Mhlanga has, however, indicated that this would not affect university applications for next year.

“An agreement with the Department of Higher Education was reached and communicated in April/May last year when it announced that universities had adjusted their programming due to Covid-19,” said Mhlanga.

The second-chance matric exams, for all those who wrote exams previously and did not pass or those upgrading are, in progress.

The second-chance exams are created to offer a second opportunity to everyone wishing to write again. While most high school pupils at public school attend school on alternate days or weeks, Mhlanga said this was not the case with grade 12 pupils who are expected to attend school on a fulltime basis.

With primary school pupils returning to school on a fulltime schedule from July, Mhlanga said anything was possible for those in grades 8 to 11 should the Covid-19 numbers decline.

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