After year-long preparations, the 2008 matric examination kicked off on Wednesday morning.
A total of 13 non-official languages and practical subjects are to be written throughout the week.
On Wednesday, learners sat for two hours writing their first paper in non-official languages including German, Portuguese, Hebrew, Hindi, Gujarati, Urdu, Tamil, Telegu, Arabic, French, Italian, Spanish and Latin.
On Thursday, they will be writing a second paper in Hindi, Gujarati, Urdu, Tamil, Telegu, Arabic, French, Italian, Spanish and Latin as well as a three-hour first paper in Computer Application Technology.
German, Portuguese and Hebrew second papers will be written on Friday along with Information Technology paper one.
In a message of encouragement to learners earlier this week, Education Minister Naledi Pandor said learners should aim high and remember that hard work and discipline are the best ways to increase their learning and earning potential.
"The results you achieve in the November Senior Certificate Examinations will determine your choice of career and your future," Minister Pandor said.
She reminded them that they are making history as they are the first cohort of Grade 12 learners who will write the National Senior Certificate (NSC) Examinations based on the National Curriculum Statements.
"I hope that you will work hard, concentrate and do your best. You are our beacons of hope and the future of this country. As you enter university, college or the world of work remember to always do your best for yourself and for your family.
"You are always in my thoughts as you prepare for your examinations in these last few days," she said. - BuaNews