The Department of Basic Education has made the decision to remove final exams for Grade 10 and 11 learners, and instead replace them with controlled tests.

Elijah Mhlanga, spokesperson for Minister Angie Motshekga made the announcement to SABC, explaining:  “It’s a once-off measure that we have put in place after we looked at everything that affected schooling this year and we felt it would not be fair to have a full-scale examination when schools were closed and reopened. With the trimmed curriculum we realised that we are not going to finish the syllabus.

“Grade 10 and 11 (students) learn the same thing, it is just the degree of difficulty of what they are learning. It is basically something that is not really new to them. So what we are going to do is create more time next year to ensure that all the work that was not covered is covered then.”

The weighting of exams has been reduced from 75% to 40%, and the weighting of the school-based assessment (SBA) has been increased from 25% to 60%. Schools also received a circular that stipulated the promotional requirements for Grades 10 and 11 in more detail.

“All elective subjects to reduce the number of papers to one test per subject,” the circular said.

According to Motshekga, Universities South Africa has made the decision to extend the academic year to the end of February 2021 to allow matriculants ample time to be accepted to university.

“On August 24 this year, our Director-General Mathanzima Mweli met with Universities South Africa, which is the body that regulates admissions to higher education institutions, and they indicated that universities will be extending the 2020 academic year to the end of February next year,” she said.

“So while the opening of universities is not universal, we are certain that when we issue (matric) results on February 23 next year, we will not be disadvantaging learners because most universities will start their 2021 academic year in March or April next year.”

Also read: New starting dates for universities

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Article written by

Lucinda Dordley

Lucinda is a hard news writer who occasionally dabbles in lifestyle writing, and recent journalism graduate. She is a proud intersectional feminist, and is passionate about actively creating a world which is free of discrimination and inequality.