Schools set to open on 25 January

Following the revision of the school calendar, schools will reopen on 25 January 2021, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said.

“First, let me confirm that schools will reopen on 25 January 2021; second, the school calendar will be gazetted tomorrow, Friday, 2 October, after which it will be publicly available.”

“We are fully aware that the country needs the school calendar for effective planning purposes, and we have worked hard to ensure it is done properly, taking into account the disruptions that have occurred in 2020,” said Motshekga.

According to the amended calendar, learners are expected to return to school by Wednesday, 27 January 2021.

With much of the school year obliterated by the COVID-19 pandemic, Motshekga said schools will have to carry over some of the curriculum work into 2021.

“We have done our best to accommodate the interests of everybody, but our priority is the learner,” she said.

Despite the leaking of the Mathematics Paper 2 and Physical Sciences Paper 2 exams, the department said the exam proceeded well.

Matric exam marking begins

Marking of the 2020 National Senior Certificate (NSC) exams has got underway on 4 January 2021.

The nationwide exams concluded on 15 December 2020.

“Marking will commence in earnest on 4 January 2021.  On 12 February 2021, the DBE will present an irregularities report to UmaIusi, and thereafter wait for the quality assurance agency to make an announcement on the integrity, credibility and fairness of the 2020 NSC examinations,” said Basic Education Minster Angie Motshekga on Thursday.

Results are set to be released on 22 February 2021 and candidates should get their statement of results on 23 February 2021.

The Minister detailed plans for the marking of matric examination scripts during a briefing on Thursday.

The combined exam, which involved full-time and part-time candidates, started on 5 November, with more than one million candidates writing together at the same time. 

The exams took place at 8 200 exam centres in all provinces, with 80 000 invigilators. Two hundred and sixteen question papers were written, with more than 10 million scripts printed. The sector appointed 45 000 markers at 180 marking centres. 

The size of the 2020 National Senior Certificate (NSC) examination was unprecedented and as a result, the capacity of the system was increased to accommodate the record high numbers.

To ensure the integrity of the exams, the department declared a national rewrite, which the North Gauteng High Court overturned following a challenge brought by teacher union SADTU, civil rights organisation AfriForum and other interested parties.

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