It has been a smooth start to the 2020 Matric exams in Makhanda, despite concern and confusion about last-minute information about protocols for Covid-positive matrics. The combined June and November National Senior Certificate exams started Thursday 5 November with English, Afrikaans, Hebrew, German, Hindi, Gujarati, Telegu and Urdu. They will end Tuesday 15 December with three-hour exams in Visual Arts and Agricultural Management Practices.
The IEB exams written at independent schools began on 9 September and have been spread over three months, ending on 27 November.
Here’s a wrap of how things were for local matrics, as they stood on Wednesday this week:
Victoria Girls’ High School
The Final NSC exams have got off to a positive start at Victoria Girls’ High School. The 83 Matric candidates are taking a disciplined and diligent approach to this exam season. The new protocols for Covid19 which have been put in place by the Department of Education for these exams have been implemented well and are already routine. The learners feel well-prepared for the exams as, although their Matric year was starkly different from what they expected, teaching and learning continued throughout the year and was VG’s top priority alongside the health and safety of the learners and staff alike.
- Warren Schmidt, Principal.
The Grade 12s have written three language papers so far. The feeling has been that these have been fair, and most of the Grade 12s have certainly been working very hard to prepare. Tomorrow they write Mathematics and Mathematical Literacy which has had many of them very apprehensive. The process itself has gone very smoothly so far, with no hitches or surprises.
61 matrics are writing at Graeme College.
- Tracy Kenyon, Academic Head
The Grade 12s have written three papers to date at PJ and there have been no hitches so far.
29 matrics are writing at PJ Olivier
- Joubert Retief, Principal
Gadra Matric School (GMS)
As far the the Gadra Matric School is concerned, everything has gone smoothly so far. That is, English FAL P1, English HL P1, Afrikaans FAL P1, Agricultural Sciences P1 and Economics P1 have gone well. [Thursday] is Mathematics P1 and Mathematical Literacy P1, so we’re hoping for the best for these very important papers.
202 matrics are writing at Gadra Matric School.
- Ashley Westaway, Manager: Gadra Education
Ntsika Secondary School
All is going well, as we have a wonderful, competent team of invigilators under the Grade 12 Head, Mrs Lungile Ralo. We could so easily have had major hitches, but all staff present are shouldering extra burdens. We are very fortunate to have the staff we have.
We do have some challenges with the supplementary exam candidates, but the assistance of Exams Head at the CMC (Dept of Education in Makhanda) is excellent.
104 matrics are writing at Ntsika Secondary School.
- Madeleine Schoeman, Principal
Nombulelo Secondary School
There have been no hitches. We expected there would be learners who wouldn’t come. In fact there were only two. One has dropped out; the other, we’re unable to contact. Those who have written so far (English and isiXhosa) have found the exams manageable – there have been no complaints. [Thursday] they begin with content subjects. They are quite anxious for that, but they are here at the school as we speak, preparing for tomorrow.
95 matrics are writing at Nombulelo Secondary School
- Noluthando Mhlekwa, Principal
Khutliso Daniels Secondary School
Everything is fine so far and all our matrics are writing. They wrote Economics and Maths Literacy today, and they are here as we speak, revising for tomorrow’s exam. At home, many of our learners are in a situation where it’s just not possible to find time and space to do even a quick revision of the work for the next day’s exam. So we have a revision programme here. Their exams are usually from 9am to 11am. Then we give them a meal, and they have 30 minutes to rest. Today, as we speak, the Maths teacher is busy revising in the classroom with them and at 2pm they will be released.
37 matrics are writing at Khutliso Daniels Secondary School.
- Radio Mcuba, Principal
St Andrew’s College
Our matric exams have all taken place as scheduled with no disruptions. We have had no Covid cases amongst G12 boys and the ‘bubble’ has been stable for the term. The Cambridge A Level exams have been completed without incident.
- Alan Thompson, Headmaster
Our matrics began their final examinations on the 14th of October and so far the process has unfolded relatively smoothly. We are however, cognisant of the fact that this year has been a very difficult one, no more so than for pupils who find themselves nearing the end of their schooling career. We are most grateful and indeed fortunate that our matrics were able to continue with their learning throughout the lockdown period and that hopefully this will stand them in good stead for these final exams.
The year has brought with it a multitude of complexities and our matrics, our pupils in general and our staff have had to rise up to the many challenges posed by the pandemic. It has not been easy, but they have all tried their best and we wish them well for this last stretch.
- Colleen Vassiliou, College Head