2008 Matric Delays Explained
A behind schedule start in exams is one of the reasons for the late results
The delay could not be attributed to a single factor, but to a number of variables that impacted on the examination processes and procedures, MPs heard this week.
On 30 December 2008, the Department of Education announced that the matric results of 56 351 candidates had not been processed. It apologized to all the affected candidates and undertook to investigate the delays.
A National Examinations Irregularities Committee was established by the Minister of Education, Ms Naledi Pandor, to investigate the matter and make recommendations to the Department.
Delivering the Committee’s report on the delay to Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Education, the Director General of the Department of Education, Mr Duncan Hindle, said matric examinations began a month late, in November instead of October. This was done to provide the maximum time for teaching, and it reduced the time to process results from 47 to just 27 days.
The report noted that some of the candidates who sat for the exams had incorrect registration numbers, others were registered for the wrong subjects and there were also problems with the collection and control of exam mark sheets from examination centres to districts and provinces.
“Some (students) were suspected of cheating,” Mr Hindle said.
He told the Committee members about the steps that the Department had taken in the affected provinces such as Gauteng and Mpumalanga. In Mpumalanga, some officials had been relieved of exam duties pending further inquiry, and in Gauteng one official had been charged for not ensuring compliance.
Mr Hindle added that a national plan had been developed to avoid the repeat of the delays. The plan included further investment in resources, especially skilled human resources at national and provincial levels.