Basic Education Dept believes it's better prepared for matric exams than in 2020

Last year, the exams were rocked by a cheating scandal when two papers were leaked. To make sure this does not happen again, the department has introduced stricter security measures which include that pupils' cellphone details be recorded in electronic devices registered by schools.

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JOHANNESBURG - A big week awaits thousands of the country’s matriculants who will in about 48 hours’ time sit for the start of this year’s final year exams.

Nearly 900,000 pupils in public schools have registered to write exams at 11,000 centres across the country.

Those in private schooling started last month with more than 13,000 candidates registered.

The Basic Education Department believes that it has come a long way in dealing with setbacks presented by the pandemic and is better prepared this year.

Officials have also warned that those involved in irregular conduct will be heavily penalised.

Last year, the exams were rocked by a cheating scandal when mathematics and physical science papers were leaked.

To make sure this does not happen again, the department has introduced stricter security measures which include that pupils' cellphone details be recorded in electronic devices registered by schools.

Department spokesperson, Elijah Mhlanga, explained the significance of a pledge that all grade 12s had to sign on Friday.

"Everyone gets to focus on the commitments that are there in the pledge, which talk about a clean examination, honesty..."

The department has also published a WhatsApp number where the public could confidentially report any suspected irregularities.

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