Parliament, Tuesday, 3 November 2020 – The Portfolio Committee on Basic Education wishes the more than one million candidates enrolled for the 2020 National Senior Certificate (NSC) well for the examinations, which commence in earnest on Thursday when all learners write English.

Committee Chairperson Ms Bongiwe Mbinqo-Gigaba said: “We would like to wish all candidates the best of luck with the upcoming final examinations. We urge them to continue working hard and to keep their focus. These examinations are the culmination of the last 12 years of schooling. We know it has been a challenging academic year, but we support you no matter what.”

Ms Mbinqo-Gigaba emphasised the difficult learning year that all learners, especially the class of 2020, found themselves in, with months of distance learning followed by some face-to-face classes. “It was a very unusual academic hear for this class. We therefore call on parents, family, friends, educators, officials and the community at large to help create the best conditions and environment for these learners to study.”

The combined examination for National Senior Certificate (NSC) candidates makes this the largest cohort, 1 058 699 candidates, expected to sit for their examination from 5 November to 15 December 2020. The June examinations for both full- and part-time candidates had to be cancelled due to the outbreak of Covid-19.

Ms Mbinqo-Gigaba said the committee has been assured by both the Department of Basic Education (DBE) and the Council for Quality Assurance in General and Further Education and Training (Umalusi) that it is all-systems-go for the examinations. “The sector has had to drastically increase its efforts to ensure that the Class of 2020 is fully prepared to sit for the NSC examination, despite the disruptions of the academic year.”

The committee commends the DBE for providing additional support to leaners because of the loss of academic time due to Covid-19. “Supplementary material, holiday classes, after-school programmes, teacher content training, placement of volunteer teachers, as well as alternative (differentiated) ways of grouping and teaching learners were provided to assist this cohort.”

The sector has placed strong emphasis on areas such of psychosocial support for learners and teachers; curriculum coverage monitoring; extra school-based tuition, such as morning, afternoon and weekend classes; ICT utilisation on television, radio and web-based platforms; and peer-led study groups. “It is clear that the sector stepped up to the plate and put the learners first,” the Chairperson said.

The committee urged parents, family members and caregivers to provide candidates with support in every possible manner and to ensure that learners have sufficient study time for the examinations. In addition, students’ emotional and mental well-being should not be forgotten during this stressful period. The committee further wishes teachers, invigilators and markers the best of luck with the task ahead. “We want everyone to be at their best to ensure credible NSC examinations for 2020,” said Ms Mbinqo-Gigaba.


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