The Department of Basic Education is implementing a new system that will do away with supplementary exams and replace them with a second national exam, giving students an opportunity to better their results. The new system will save the department money and give pupils more time to prepare for exams.
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga floated the plan as early as 2016, saying the department would implement changes to the supplementary exam system in 2017.
The minister said at a media briefing in January 2016 that the rewrites are too early in the year and the pass rates are too low.
Basic Education Spokesperson, Elijah Mhlanga explained on Wednesday that from next year, a second national exam would be held in May/June.
Mhlanga said the decision was taken for a number of reasons, including low registration of people who qualify for supplementary exams and low attendance of those who have registered.
The low turnout results in large financial losses for the department.
Mhlanga reiterated the minister’s statement that the high failure rate of students participating in the supplementary exams due to their not having enough time to prepare.
He said the second, mid-year exam would cater for students who have failed subjects, but would also be available for students aiming to improve their marks.
Students who were limited to registering for two subjects in the supplementary exams will now have the opportunity to write as many subjects as necessary.
This decision was passed last year in Parliament.[Source: eNCA]