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The Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Basic Education, Bongiwe Mbinqo-Gigaba, wishes the class of 2021 well for their upcoming final exams. The National Senior Certificate (NSC) exams begin on Wednesday, 27 October, when learners are expected to write English.

A total of 897 786 candidates will sit for the NSC examinations – 735 677 full-time candidates and 162 109 part-time candidates. They will sit for their exams at 6 326 public, 526 independent and 326 designated examination centres. The examinations will conclude on 7 December 2021.

Chairperson Mbinqo-Gigaba said: “I would like to wish all candidates the best of luck with the upcoming final examinations. I urge them to continue working hard and to keep their focus. I know it has been a challenging few years since your schooling was disrupted due to Covid-19 in 2020, but I am sure you have the support of the whole country. It has truly been a catch-up year for this cohort.”

Mbinqo-Gigaba said all learners have had a difficult learning year, especially the matric class of 2021 as they have had to catch up work that was not covered in the curriculum during the 2020 academic year, due to serious disruptions caused by the pandemic. “It was a very strenuous academic year for this class, with some of the Grade 11 and the full Grade 12 curriculum that had to be covered. We therefore call on parents, family, friends, educators, officials and the community at large to help create the best conditions and environment for these learners to study.”

Mbinqo-Gigaba noted the Department of Basic Education (DBE)’s report that it is all-systems-go for the examinations. The DBE said despite the abnormal context, the class of 2021 will be subjected to the same high-quality examinations faced by previous cohorts. The Quality Assurance Council, Umalusi, has confirmed that the national examination system is ready to administer the 2021 NSC examination.

Early in November, the committee is expected to meet with the DBE regarding support provided to leaners and schools to mitigate the loss of academic time due to Covid-19.

Mbinqo-Gigaba urged parents, family members and caregivers to provide candidates with in every possible support, and to ensure that learners have sufficient study time and a conducive environment to prepare for the examinations. “In addition, students’ emotional and mental well-being should not be forgotten during this stressful period. I want to also wish teachers, invigilators and markers the best of luck with the task ahead. We want everyone to be at their best to once again ensure credible NSC examinations,” said Mbinqo-Gigaba.