Quality Assurance Council for General and Further Education and Training, better known as Umalusi, has given the country’s assessment bodies thumbs up for upcoming exams.
Umalusi has, however, flagged loadshedding, cheating, and protests as some of the factors that may disrupt the smooth writing of the matric exams.
The quality assurance body said on Friday that it is confident that assessment bodies will safeguard the integrity and credibility of the national exams which start in November.
They are the Department of Basic Education (DBE), Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET), Independent Examination Board (IEB), and South African Comprehensive Assessment Institute (Sacai).
Umalusi’s Mary-Louise Madalane said the two public bodies, DBE and DHET, and two private, IEB and Sacai have meet the quality assurance’s bodies requirement to conduct, administer, and manage the national exams.
She said 921 000 pupils are registered to write the National Senior Certificate (NSC) with the DBE, 15 211 with IEB, and 5 814 with Sacai at 7 240 exam centres across the country.
Umalusi said while there have been some weaknesses identified on the part of DBE and DHET, which is responsible for the National Certificate Vocational (NCV: L2 – L4) and Nated Report 190/191 (N2 – N3), they are not of such a magnitude that they can put the overall credibility of the exams at risk.
“The risks identified have been brought to the attention of the relevant heads of provincial education departments and the directors-general of the DBE and DHET, so that corrective steps can be taken to remedy the situation before the start of exams,” said Madalane.
Concern over loadshedding, cheating
Umalusi CEO, Dr Mafu Rakometsi, said the quality council remains concerned about loadshedding, cheating, and community protests.
Rakometsi said the quality assurance body has spoken to Eskom regarding loadshedding in connection with the subjects that need electricity.
“Umalusi advises all assessment bodies to make alternative arrangements for the supply of power during the writing of exams to mitigate the possibility of loadshedding,” he said.
Umalusi also pleaded with communities not to disruption exams.
“Umalusi discourages communities from using the national exams as leverage for their protest actions,” he said.
“Umalusi would like to issue a stern warning to all learners and teachers to refrain from all forms of cheating, including group copying where teachers are sometimes implicated.”
The quality assurance body added that there will be stiff punishment for those caught cheating.
The DBE matric exams start on October 30.