South Africa: It's All Systems Go As One Million Pupils Brace for South Africa's Largest Matric Exam to Date


In just over a week, SA's basic education system will administer its largest National Senior Certificate examinations to date, with more than a million candidates. In a briefing to Parliament's education committee on Tuesday 27 October, both the regulatory body Umalusi and the Department of Basic Education signalled their readiness for the matric exams.

The total number of candidates who will sit for the 2020 National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations in South Africa from 5 November until 15 December is 1,058,699.

The Department of Basic Education (DBE) told Parliament's education committee it is the largest examination to ever be administered in the country's history.

Covid-19 disruptions to education are innumerable.

The June NSC exams normally written by candidates who are rewriting their matric, including those writing subjects they carried over from their 2019 matric exams, were postponed due to the pandemic.

And this cohort of candidates was carried over and combined with the 2020 final examinations.

"The preparatory exams were a good test run to give us an indication as to whether the system will run properly during the final exams," said Cheryl Weston, an educational director for the department.

Weston was presenting on the readiness of the class of...

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