DBE urges Eskom to minimise load shedding as matrics write final exams

More than 500,000 grade 12 pupils will write their final English paper one on Wednesday morning with stage 2 load shedding under way.

FILE: Some children may have to contend with learning at home by candlelight or a torch this week while preparing for the national senior certificate exams. Picture: 123rf.com

JOHANNESBURG - The Department of Basic Education (DBE) is urging Eskom, parents and guardians of grade 12 pupils to help ease the pressure from matriculants who need to contend with stage 2 load shedding while writing final exams this week.

More than 500,000 grade 12 pupils will write their final English paper one on Wednesday morning with stage 2 load shedding under way.

The department is urging Eskom to minimise the impact on children this week, however, they will still have to study at home and will be without power.

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Some children may have to contend with learning at home by candlelight or a torch this week while preparing for the national senior certificate exams.

But DBE’s Elijah Mhlanga said parents and guardians must make arrangements to minimise the impact on children.

“It’s a big day, it’s a day when the entire exam system is tested, we don’t want anything going wrong. We don’t want external factors to affect the examination. It’s a nervous moment, they have been in the system for 12 years and this is their moment.”

Qualifications regulator Umalusi is urging the department to speak to Eskom to come up with alternative measures to avoid any impact on the exams.

BETTER PREPARED THIS YEAR FOR LOAD SHEDDING

The department is urging parents and guardians to ensure pupils arrive at exam halls earlier than usual this week to avoid being delayed by traffic congestion caused by the power cuts.

Two years ago, load shedding disrupted the matric class of 2019's computer application technology exam - and many pupils had to re-write.

Mhlanga believes the department is better prepared this year in case the utility has to extend load shedding beyond this weekend.

But he is urging Eskom to also play its part: “We hope also that Eskom will try to address these issues so that we don’t threaten the exam.”

Umalusi CEO Mafu Rakometsi has recommended that Eskom avoids load shedding in the mornings when grade 12 pupils are writing.

“They should be able to cope with English and load shedding despite the fact that it will be darkness in the rooms because it’s also raining but we are discouraging any form of load shedding during the exams.”

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