MEC for Education, Ishmael Kgetjepe said it was not unusual or unheard of to reschedule examinations and exams must be run in a credible and impeccable manner as anything else will compromise the whole process and the hard work of teachers and learners throughout the year.
Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday about the Grade 10 and 11s and the exams being rescheduled at a very late stage, Kgetjepe said principals already knew in April what money they would have available and should have planned accordingly because they knew they had to write exams and should have anticipated challenges. Certain schools reportedly did not have money to make copies of exam papers for all their learners.
“Sadly we had numerous reports that the particular examinations had to be postponed. To our knowledge the exams started on 26 October and is scheduled to end on 30 November,” Kgetjepe said. He acknowledged the department experienced logistical challenges with internal arrangements at some schools. He said this only affected the shifting around of subjects but never affected the period set for examinations. He admitted there were challenges and the process was not executed as efficiently as it could have been. Kgetjepe said “properly run schools” managed to run the exams on their own without assistance. He refuted allegations that the department did not follow financial prescripts during the process, saying they are working very closely with Treasury officials. About the standardisation of exam papers he said exam papers should cover the curriculum and exam papers will be discussed with schools. “It can be done differently,” he said. He said papers will be set on district level based on revision and challenges of Grades 10 and 11s.
Kgetepe said the exams in 2016 will be better managed and the department will communicate with schools. He said the department are also engaging with Provincial Treasury and would look at the best and most cost effective ways to help schools.
Grade 12 exams are proceeding smoothly and without any crippling glitches. “Where there were unforeseen hiccups we were able to address those in time,” he said. He said the department drew up the time table and set exam papers.
Grade 1 to 9 exams were scheduled to begin on Tuesday and Kgetjepe appealed to districts to facilitate the exams to run efficiently and effectively.
Story: NELIE ERASMUS
Photo: Education MEC Ishmael Kgetjepe blames principals for not planning well, resulting in exam chaos.