Around 787,000 matric candidates eagerly await their results, which have met the quality assurance standards of Umalusi and have been approved for release.
Umalusi spokesperson Lucky Ditaunyane said everything went smoothly this year. He noted that a 3 000 drop in the number of candidates who sat for the National Senior Certificate Examination 2019, is nothing to worry about.
“Each cohort has its own unique features so it should all be taken within context. But, what is important so, is that on a yearly basis we see the number of earners who take matric being somewhere between 700 000-800 000 that has remained constant despite the different fluctuations here and there.”
Ditaunyane was pleased to report that there were no major disruptions.
“Fortunately, this year, we did not experience what we refer to as system irregularities, which are irregularities that effect the bulk of the system. What we have experienced is isolated incidents. For example, two papers were affected by loadshedding, namely Computer Application Technology and Information Technology. But, special arrangements were made for those papers to be written at a later date.”
“Another thing that came up was that in two districts in the North west province, there were protests. The department of basic education made alternative arrangements timeously for learners to go write at another exam centre. So basically, we did not have major disruptions that could have compromised the credibility and integrity of the examinations.”
A number of procedures were put in place in order to ensure the reliability of the results as well as the security of the exam. He explained that various officials, both from Umalusi and the Department of education, were deployed to the writing and marking centres across the country to ensure that issues are dealt with “expeditiously”.
“What we do throughout the conduct of examinations is that we study the reports that are coming through from the various assessment bodies. We require of them to submit weekly reports do we can see exactly what is happening,” said Ditaunyane.
“We look at each subject and we look at learner performances for the previous five years and then we look at the performance in 2019 and compare it. Based on that and based on a number of inputs such as qualitative and quantative data, the assessment standards committee of council makes determination of whether or not a particular exam was pitched on the right level and whether the learners experienced it as difficult or easy. Based on all of those a determination is made on whether to adjust the marks on that subject or not.”