News clipping – Eyewitness News – 25 October 2010

No free marks for matrics

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga on Sunday said her department has done everything in its power to ensure this year’s matric exams run smoothly and expected results to remain steady.

Grade 12 pupils started writing their first examinations – Information Technology and Computer Application Technology – at 9am on Monday.

Several catch-up initiatives were put in place to ensure pupils completed the Grade 12 syllabus after teaching delays caused by the FIFA World Cup and the protracted public servants’ strike.

Motshekga reiterated there would be no leniency and no extra marks, saying matriculants do not need any extra help if they have studied hard.
“They don’t need any favours. They either pass or don’t. Nothing’s going to be different. The papers are standard papers set long ago. The markers are not going to be briefed to do anything different,” she said.

Motshekga wished the pupils well as they started writing exams.

Celebrity TV teacher William Smith shared his advice with the youngsters.
“They must remember that the examiners are nit out to catch them. They’re not out to see what they don’t know. They are there to see what they do know,” he said.

The Western Cape Education Department has increased security at Hanover Park schools following a spike in gang violence.

Four people have been killed in the area over the past two weeks.

Education MEC Donald Grant said police would be on duty at schools in the area during the matric exams.
“I have had discussions with Albert Fritz, the Community Safety MEC. We are both happy with the contingency plans in that particular area and I know that the police have got manoeuvres planned there,” he added.

Meanwhile in the Eastern Cape officials have held a mass day of prayer ahead of the exams. Last year the province obtained a 51 percent pass rate but they are hoping for a 10 percent improvement this year.

The Education Department’s spokesperson Sithembele Zibi said, “Apart from praying for success, it also serves to motivate the learners to study, read and try to conquer all of the problems they might have had in the course of the year that might have stood in the way of success.

By Imraan Karolia
Eyewitness News