Monday, 25 October 2021

Bethlehem: Parents and learners across the country have signed a commitment agreement, where they bind themselves to the conditions listed in the pact ahead of the start of the final Grade 12 examinations this week.

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga and Deputy Minister Reginah Mhaule hosted the NSC pledge signing ceremonies in Bethlehem, Free State and Mothibistad, Northern Cape, on Friday.

The 2021 National Senior Certificate (NSC) examination will officially commence on Wednesday, with 124 065 candidates writing English Home Language, 609 830 candidates writing English First Additional Language and four candidates writing the English Second Additional Language paper.

A total of 897 786 candidates will sit for the November 2021 NSC examinations, comprising 735 677 full-time candidates and 162 109 part-time candidates.

The department has urged South Africans to rally behind the class of 2021 and offer them the necessary support, while making sure they do not engage in any irregular activities.

“Parents are requested to be extra vigilant to ensure that learners do not resort to engaging in any activity relating to examination irregularities,” the department said in a statement.

The department said it is fully aware that the majority of learners are honest and will comply with these rules in order to eradicate any irregular practices.

These are the key conditions of the Commitment Agreement:

  • (a) Any deviation from or contravention of the regulations by a candidate registered to sit for the 2021 National Senior Certificate examination will compromise the integrity of the examination and the results of the candidate could be declared null and void, and the candidate could be barred from writing one to three subsequent examinations. Criminal prosecution could be imposed should it be found that the candidate is involved in the leakage of any examination question paper.
  • (b) Candidate must report any information or rumour regarding examination irregularities to the examination hotline established for this purpose. The examination hot-line will be a 24-hour service. In addition, to reporting to the examination hotline, this information must be brought to the attention of the school principal. The number of the WhatsApp hotline is 069 335 2818. The information provided on this WhatsApp line will be treated with confidentiality.
  • (c) In cases where a question paper, or part(s) of a question paper, is forwarded to a candidate via e-mail, SMS, WhatsApp or through any other electronic means, and the candidate fails to report such an incident to the school principal or the WhatsApp hotline, they will be deemed as being complicit.
  • (d) All candidates will be required to complete the Electronic Devices Register, which will be managed by the school. The register will require all candidates to record all details of the cell phone or any other electronic device that they will be using during the examination period.
  • (e) Candidates and parents/guardians must be aware that should a candidate agree to any assistance, irrespective of who provided the assistance (i.e. the educator, invigilator or fellow learner), they shall be considered to have colluded with the person who provided the assistance, and therefore the appropriate sanction will be imposed.
  • (f) A candidate who is alleged to have had access to the question paper or parts of the question paper, prior to the examination, will be required to submit his/her cell phone or any other electronic device to the department for further investigation.

The department reiterated that the national examination system is ready to administer a credible public examination and it is geared to accommodate any change that may be warranted by the current environment.

“It should be noted that despite the abnormal context, the Class of 2021 will be subjected to the same high quality examination that previous cohorts were subjected to, and the Quality Assurance Council, Umalusi, has confirmed that the national examination system is ready to administer the 2021 NSC examination,” the department said.

The department said that it has learnt valuable lessons from the previous examinations and is therefore more confident in administering this examination.

“Candidates that demonstrate COVID-19 symptoms, as well as candidates that test positive, will be allowed to write their examination at special isolation venues that have been arranged.

“To accommodate the negative effects of COVID-19, measures such as the provision of supplementary material, vacation classes, after-school programmes, teacher content training and placement of volunteer teachers were implemented,” the department said.

The department has commended all learners, teachers and school management teams for the resilience they have shown in braving the pandemic, with the single goal of ensuring that the Class of 2021 receives optimum support.

“The department would like to further extend sincere gratitude to the provinces, partners, educational stakeholders, parents and civil society (NGOs) for going beyond the call of duty to assist and support Grade 12 learners.” the department said.

The department wished well all candidates sitting for the 2021 NSC examination.