PRETORIA: He said the CEM had approved the matric exam timetable in May this year.
The Department of Basic Education has announced the amendment of the matric exam timetable aiming to accommodate the coming local government elections.
According to the department, the national senior certificate exams will start on October 27 and not November 1, the day South Africans head to the polls.
Department spokesperson, Elijah Mhlanga, said the amendments will allow learners who are eligible to vote to cast their ballots.
“The Council of Education Ministers had a meeting this Wednesday morning and made amendments to the final Grade 12 examinations timetable. Originally, the elections were meant to take place on 27 October which would not have been a problem for us,” Mhlanga said.
Mhlanga said consultations about exams took place with teacher unions, school governing associations and professional bodies last Friday.
He said the CEM had approved the matric exam timetable in May this year.
Last Wednesday, Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma announced the local government elections would take place on November 1.
“The purpose of the consultation sessions was to deliberate on what would be the most appropriate option regarding a change to the timetable, given we are five weeks away from the commencement of the examinations,” said Mhlanga.
According to the department statements on Wednesday, there are 207 question papers to be written over 25 days and there are no vacant sessions in the current 25-day timetable, hence the rescheduling needed to be confined prior to the commencement date or post the conclusion date.
“The best interest of the pupil was a key consideration in addition to ensuring minimum change to the current timetable was made to avoid confusion,” he added.
The department urges candidates preparing for the examination to keep working hard.