MBOMBELA – Mpumalanga is ready and all systems are set for the smooth running of the final 2016 matric exams.
The province has seen an increase in the number of matric pupils sitting exams this year. More than 60 000 pupils, including 13 000 progressed pupils, are to write their final exams in the province’s 552 exam centres.
This is an increase of over 5 000, a result of the government’s new policy of pushing grade 11s to matric.
The MEC for education, ms Reginah Mhaule, revealed that some of the progressed pupils were excelling while others had been allowed to write their matric exams in multiple folds. “We allowed them a multiple-exam opportunity, they will write some of their subjects now and others in June next year,” she explained.
Mhaule emphasised that the province was adamant to reach its targeted percentage pass rate of 89 per cent.
“We are confident that we are going to make it, we completed the syllabus, pupils are ready and we are currently doing revision of past exam papers to prepare them. We are ready, invigilators and 4 501 markers have been trained and all 17 marking venues are ready,” the MEC said during her prayer day for exams held at Ingwenyama Conference and Sport Resort last week.
“We believe our results will be good and the morale, of pupils and teachers, is high,” she added.
Asked by journalists on the safety and security of the question papers, Mhaule said the exam papers are extremely safe.
The questions are saved on disks which are securely stored in high security in all four districts. “We print as we are to write the subject, what we have is a disk, our storage is very safe we don’t expect any irregularities to take place. We are also working with the SAPS to escort examination papers. The thumb from a specific individual is required to gain access into those storage units,” she added.
Pastors and religious leaders from various denominations all over the province prayed for the smooth running of exams in all the schools, indiscriminately. They all prayed for the pupils’ health, confidence and the ability to remember what they had learned throughout the year.
“Dear Lord, grant your blessings to the Class of 2016. Give them your wisdom to remember everything they had learn,” were one of the prayers.
Rev Mika Nthali, chairperson of the Moral Regeneration Movement in the province, said they were confident that with God on the side of the province the 89 percent is achieveable. “We are confident that indeed, through Him, we will definitely achieve 89 per cent.”