Marking of the 2021 National Senior Certificate examinations, which concluded without major incidents that could compromise the examination as a whole, will begin on Wednesday.
The Department of Basic Education in a statement said there were no confirmed reported serious irregularities that could threaten the credibility, integrity and image of the examinations, as a whole. This was apart from reported incidents of some candidates caught with crib notes and cellphones.
The five-week long examination, which began on 27 October, was written in 6 326 public examination centres, 526 independent centres and 326 designated centres.
A total of 897 786 candidates registered to sit for the November 2021 NSC examinations, comprising 735 677 full-time candidates and 162 109 part-time candidates.
The department said it had put in place various measures that assisted in safe guarding the examinations at the various points.
“The department thanks all learners, teachers and school management teams for the resilience they have shown in braving the pandemic with a single goal of ensuring that the Class of 2021 receives optimum support,” reads the statement.
The department further extended sincere gratitude to officials in the provincial Education Departments, partners, educational stakeholders, parents and civil society organisations (NGOs) for going beyond the call of duty to assist and support Grade 12 learners before and during the examinations.
Marking was scheduled to commence in earnest on 8 December and end on 22 December. More than 41 500 markers have been appointed to mark the scripts at 193 centres located in nine provinces.
The department said it had increased the number of marking centres to ensure better compliance to COVID-19 protocols.
“All marking centres will implement stringent COVID-19 protocols including daily screening, the appointment of compliance officers, the supply of masks, sanitising stations as well as social distancing.
“Back-up marking centres have been organized in case an outbreak occurs at a specific centre and there is a need to relocate,” it said.
The department said it was working very closely with the Department of Health to ensure that all marking centres are fully compliant to the Health and Safety Protocols and to deal with any emergency that may occur.
Each marking centre, either has a health practitioner on site or is linked to a medical practice, to address any health issue that may arise.
The Provincial Education Departments continue to work with Eskom and the Local Municipalities to ensure that the electricity supply to these centres are not interrupted.
“On behalf of the Minister of Basic Education, we want to congratulate the Class of 2021, for having completed the 2021 NSC examination despite the challenges and we wish you a restful and well-deserved holiday. Please observe the health safety measures during your vacation and do not expose yourself to any risk,” the department said.