On a rainy Thursday morning at 9am, hundreds of thousands of matric learners will sit down to write their first National Senior Certificate (NSC) exam.
Thursday’s exams are English, both first and second additional language, paper one.
Dear Matriculants, the time has come. Take a deep breath. Remain calm. The nation is behind you. Go out there and do your best! Best wishes! #MatricClassof2020 #NSCExams2020 pic.twitter.com/IjvpRSpkeT
— Service Delivered (@Servedeliver) November 5, 2020
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga and Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi visited the Sekano-Ntoane Secondary School in Soweto to wish them luck.
“To the matric class of 2020, yes, the exams are here. You are writing under unusual circumstances, due to Covid-19. But all has been done to ensure safety in the exam centre. Remain focused, I know you can make it, revise, and just be ready for your exams,” Motshekga said in a message to this year’s matric pupils.
— South African Government (@GovernmentZA) November 4, 2020
The Covid-19 pandemic threatened to derail the academic year, with pupils spending the better part of 2020 in a state of uncertainty.
The Basic Education Department was only able to publish the amended school calendar for 2020 on 11 August, after the country underwent a hard lockdown to curb the spread of the virus.
Schools were routinely closed as infections spiked, with lessons interrupted, making pupils spend long spells at home.
The department, together with the Department of Health, agreed on Wednesday night that any learners who test positive for Covid-19 would still be able to write their final matric exams.
The Department of Basic Education and the Department of Health have just concluded an agreement this evening that will ensure that learners who test positive for COVID-19 are allowed to write the final matric examinations. pic.twitter.com/bcEkczJEWe
— Dep. Basic Education (@DBE_SA) November 4, 2020
It was previously said that learners would have Covid-19 would not be allowed to enter the exam area. But after parents and learners requested that the protocols be reviewed, a few adjustments were made.
Candidates who test positive and are deemed fit to write their exams will be allowed to write, but must do so at a different venue and under secure conditions in compliance with exam regulations.
In addition, learners who test higher than 38°C will still be allowed to write exams, but will do so in an isolated venue at the school. They will also be separated from other learners, and taken to a healthcare centre for further medical attention.
Twitter was abound with well wishes, as well as some comic relief from users urging learners not to use their masks as cheat sheets.
Good luck #MatricClassof2020
I know we had a rough year, but please do not attempt this pic.twitter.com/gC0JK7Arap
— MANDLA-M ???????? (@MandlaMhlanga_) November 5, 2020
— Mntimande (@Mpho_Mabuya) November 5, 2020
Good luck to the #MatricClassof2020 As you commence your final school exams remember that you were born to achieve great things in life. Never lose faith and always believe! ????????????????
— Ndlovu Youth Choir (@ChoirAfrica) November 5, 2020
— Accountancy@UJ (@UJAccountancy) November 5, 2020
— Swalakahla (@kaola23) November 5, 2020
To the #MatricClassof2020 through what was a trying year. . .
God Speed???? pic.twitter.com/nCZnrxxtkM
— Lilith ???????? (@Kanyo_Mokhadi) November 5, 2020
Compiled by Nica Richards