The minister of basic education, Ms. Angie Motshekga, has asked Eskom to refrain from enforcing load shedding during the matric’s record and final exams. This is the case for the practical exams of computer application technology (CAT) and information technology (IT) in particular. She replied to a parliamentary question of Pieter Groenewald of the Freedom Front Plus.
“This hopefully gives greater certainty to learners and will ease the tension. It would be extremely frustrating if load shedding was to occur during examinations which would result in examination papers having to be re-written. It would be unreasonable toward learners and the FF Plus supports the request of the minister addressed to Eskom,” Dr. Groenewald said.
The minister also confirmed that all the provincial departments of education had directed the request to the various regional managers of Eskom in the provinces. She also sent the request to the acting Chief Executive Officer of Eskom.
The department also has a protocol which would be in place should power outages occur. This entails that (a) learners will be quarantined for the duration of the load shedding and the examination will resume when the electricity is restored, (b) should the power outages last for longer than two hours, the examination will be suspended and re-scheduled, and (c) the department already has a back-up paper which would be written.
“Everything must be done to ensure that the power stays on and schools which can afford it should try to have emergency power generators on hand. The FF Plus also wishes all matrics well for the forthcoming record exams,” Dr. Groenewald said.
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INTERNAL QUESTION PAPER: 34/2015
3182. Dr P J Groenewald (FF Plus) to ask the Minister of Basic Education:†
(1) What precautions has her department taken with the writing of the record examinations and final examinations of this year’s matriculants in case load shedding takes place at the schools and/or examination halls during this time;
(2) whether she will make a statement on the matter? NW3780E
Load shedding, will in the main, affect the writing of Computer Application Technology (CAT) and Information Technology (IT) practical examinations, where computers are used. In the management of examinations in previous years, power outages have been factored into the planning so as to ensure that no candidate is affected. The Provincial Education Departments (PEDs) have established contact with the regional managers of Eskom, and a request has been made for load shedding to be suspended on the days on which these practical examinations are administered during the Trial Examinations and the Final November examinations. In addition, the Department of Basic Education (DBE) will communicate with the Acting Chief Executive Officer of Eskom, to impress on him the need to suspend load shedding on the two days on which the Final Practical Examinations are written in CAT and IT. However, should load shedding occur, the Department has a protocol in place to cater for power outages which entails the following:
Candidates must be quarantined for the duration of the load shedding and the examination may resume when the electricity is restored;
Should the electricity not be restored in a period of two hours, the examination session is terminated and the examination must be re-scheduled; and
The DBE has set a back-up paper for these two practical examinations, and the examination will be re-scheduled for schools that may experience load shedding.
2. All schools are aware of the protocol relating to load shedding or power outages. This has been communicated via an official circular to all schools. In addition, the Department will convene a media briefing prior to the commencement of the final examination and this will be reiterated at this briefing.