The 2018 National Senior Certificate (NSC) exams got off to a good start as candidates wrote the English Paper 1 on Tuesday.
A total of 757 894 learners sat for their English Home Language, English First Additional Language and English Second Additional Language examinations.
According to Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga, no major incidents were reported.
“By midday, no major incidents were reported and all examination centres declared a smooth running of the first major examination.”
The Minister marked the start of the exams by paying a surprise visit to Reiger Park Secondary School in Gauteng, where she addressed Grade 12 learners in the examination hall just before the start of their examination.
“You are the most important people today and we have come here to wish you all of the best with your final examinations. You should not get distracted by anything else, but you should ensure you are focused on studying hard and putting all your efforts into these examinations.”
Motshekga said the NSC exams are the gateway to the future.
“These examinations are the culmination of a 12-year journey with us as Basic Education. We wish the entire class of 2018 the best of luck. It is now up to our learners to use the knowledge they have gained and to put their heads down and study hard.
“The Matric certificate is a gateway document that you will need to use for the rest of your life, whether it is applying for a job or post-schooling study opportunities, you will always be asked for your National Senior Certificate, so study hard and do us proud,” Motshekga told the class of 2018.
When asked about her expectations for the class of 2018, Motshekga emphasised that she is cautiously optimistic and would welcome any improvements. However, more than that, she hopes the results remain stable.
She said government has put much effort into ensuring that the education system continually improves.
“We really don’t want (the media) to get too hung up on percentages. We want to see more learners who took Maths and Science passing. We want to see percentages of learners who pass with 50% and above increasing. The focus has shifted from average pass percentages to the quality of those passes,” said Motshekga.
This year will see 796 542 learners participating in the 2018 NSC examinations, writing a total of 147 set Grade 12 papers.
The NSC examinations are the culmination of a number of efforts by the department to get the system functioning optimally and delivering quality basic education to all learners.
In the lead up to examinations, the DBE, led by Director-General, Mathanzima Mweli visited all nine provinces to monitor both learner and system readiness on the ground.
This included engagements with school principals, where Mweli conveyed the importance of ensuring universal curriculum coverage and making sure learners are prepared and ready for the 2018 NSC final examinations.
This morning, 126 625 part-time and full-time learners throughout the country will sit for their Accounting Paper 1 examination.
The department said it will continue to monitor the examinations as they progress and it is hopeful that all measures put in place will protect the integrity of the examinations by preventing any untoward incidents.
Marking of examination scripts will commence on 1 December and will be concluded by 15 December.
The examination results will be released on the evening of Thursday, 3 January 2019, and candidates will be able to access their results from Friday, 4 January through the department’s website and various media outlets.