The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) expects no problems with the marking of about 1-million scripts by 2200 markers and 350 checkers, as they prepare to complete the process by the end of this week.
Education MEC Cameron Dugmore visited the centre on Saturday and expressed his gratitude to the markers and officials, who have to ensure that the province delivers an examination of integrity. The MEC will announce the results at the end of this month during a ceremony at Leeuwenhof, the Premier's official residence.
The Examinations Directorate of the WCED began preparations for marking the papers about six months ago when it issued the first tenders for the massive exercise.
Tenders include the marking venue and security. Strict security is in place at all times during the marking process to protect the integrity of the marking process and the results.
In addition to te markers, the WCED has employed 350 students as checkers who double check all results before data capturers input the results into the computer systems.
The number of candidates who registered for the 2007 examinations grew by 14% this year to 71 227, a record number.
The number of full-time candidates has increased from 42 694 last year to 45 706; part-time candidates from 12 532 to 16 779; and private candidates from 7 025 to 8 742.
The candidates wrote 184 examination papers at 535 examination centres across the Western Cape. The examinations included 11 national question papers, first introduced in 2006.
Matric marking is a massive logistical exercise, given the numbers of scripts involved, and the need to complete marking within a week. The markers are mostly leading teachers in their fields. The WCED received about 4 000 applications this year.
The minimum criteria for appointment as a marker include employment by the WCED and completion of at least a second year of tertiary study in the subject to be marked. The pass rate of learners taught by the teacher for the subject concerned must be at least 50%.
The WCED tries to ensure that about 25% of the markers are marking for the first time, to ensure a constant, sustainable pool of experienced markers for future years.
A chief marker and an internal moderator check the work of every marker. This includes marking about 20% of the papers twice, to check for any discrepancies and to assure marking quality.
Data capturers will take about nine days to capture all the results. The WCED introduced a new system two years ago to ensure accurate capturing of data for every candidate. The Northern Cape has now also adopted the system and the Free State is testing it.
The WCED will forward the results electronically to the national Department of Education (DoE) once all the results have been captured. National and provincial standardization meetings will take place on 14 and 15 December.
Umalusi, the national examination certification authority, is expected to indicate whether or not it has certified the results by 22 December. If Amylacea certifies the results, the WCED will start printing and packaging the results on 23 December, for distribution to schools on 28 December.
The MEC will announce the provincial results on the morning of Friday, 28 December. Candidates will be able to collect results from 12 noon at their schools on the same day. The WCED web site and the media will publish the results on the morning of Saturday, 29 December. The WCED's web site address is http://wced.wcape.gov.za
Director of Communication
Western Cape Education Department
Cell: 083 261 7699
Media Liaison Officer
Office of the MEC for Education
Tel: 021 467 2523
Cell: 082 550 3938
Fax: 021 425 5689
Visit our website: http://wced.wcape.gov.za
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