The Council for Quality Assurance in General and Further Education and Training, Umalusi, has given the green light for the writing of the 2022 end of year examinations.

The Department of Basic Education (DBE) currently has 923,460 learners enrolled for the National Senior Certificate exams. This number comprises full-time and part-time scholars.

At a media briefing on Friday, the Umalusi said it has completed its role of monitoring and verifying the readiness of the public and private assessment bodies to manage and conduct the 2022 end of the year national examinations.

The assessment bodies are the DBE, Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET), Independent Examinations Board (IEB), and the South African Comprehensive Assessment Institute (SACAI).

As part of its quality assurance mandate, Umalusi is required to assess the levels of readiness of the public and private assessment bodies to conduct, administer and manage the examinations prior to their commencement.

Umalusi CEO, Dr Mafu Rakometsi, said the identified shortcomings are not of such a magnitude that they have the potential to put the credibility of the examinations at risk.

Rakometsi said Umalusi appreciates the effort made by all assessment bodies in putting systems in place to ensure that the integrity of the 2022 national examinations is not compromised.

“Similar to the challenges brought by the Covid-19 pandemic in the past, the education sector, like other sectors, continues to experience challenges related to load shedding.

“Umalusi calls upon the assessment bodies to make alternative arrangements for the supply of power during the writing of the examinations to mitigate the risk of load-shedding.”

Rakometsi issued a stern warning to all stakeholders regarding incidents of cheating.

“Once again, as we have done in the past, we would like to issue a stern warning to all learners and teachers to refrain from all forms of cheating, including group copying, where teachers are sometimes implicated.

“We berate and condemn this criminal practice with the contempt it deserves. Cheating compromises the integrity of our national examination system, which we are mandated to jealously protect as a quality council,” Rakometsi said.

He said Umalusi discourages communities from using national examinations as leverage for their protest actions.

“This is unacceptable, as it jeopardises the future of our children. The education of our children is something that each South African should protect jealously,” he said.

The DBE’s candidature has increased to 923,460 in 2022 from 897,786 in 2021.

The candidates will sit for the examinations at 6,885 exam centres across the country.

Umalusi said marking will be conducted at 186 marking centres by 53,926 markers.

The IEB has 13,875 (12,857 in 2021) candidates who will write the examinations at 232 examination centres for full-time candidates and six centres for part-time candidates. These numbers include 15 new IEB schools.

Overall, approximately 942,000 candidates distributed across the three assessment bodies are registered to write the NSC in 2022.

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