The new year has already taken flight, and matric learners across the country are nervously awaiting for their exam results, which are expected to be released very soon. While anticipation to know if they’ve passed is high, so is the suspense about where their results could take them in the future.
The Department of Basic Education (DBE) has announced that the official release date of the matric results will be 19 January, 2023.
With the release expected to take place in the middle of January, many are worried if this leaves learners enough time to secure places at tertiary institutions, which normally begin their academic year from the beginning of February.
In the past, the DBE has been subject to criticism of the “late” release of the matric results, with many questioning if it cannot be released sooner, as it sets universities and colleges back in regards to registration, causing a bit of chaos.
Spokesperson for the DBE, Elijah Mhlanga, explained that due to the increase in the number of learners writing matric, a lot more has to be done in the process of marking the exams and releasing the results.
“If you look at the trends, there’s been an increase in the number of matriculants that are passing; we are now approaching one million [matric learners] in 2022, there are 921 000 [learners] which means there is an increase in the amount of work that needs to be done, and the analysis has become even more complex,” explained Mhlanga.
“Secondly, Covid happened as well. Remember, when schools first closed in 2020, in 2021 schools started late; same thing happened in 2022. So, the late start in 2022 had a knock-on effect which means the week that we lost, is the week that affected everything else in the system. Exams started late as well and ended later than usual.”
The journey to the end of the matric exam season, and now the results release, was not smooth-sailing.
Incidents of loadshedding affecting certain subjects, protests within communities, the Covid-19 pandemic, flooding in some provinces and test cheating allegations, amongst other problems, have all disrupted the exam season in one way or another, placing even more stress on Grade 12 learners.
The alleged cheating during the exams has resulted in the launching of an investigation by the DBE, as both learners and teachers were implicated.
Elijah Mhlanga says that the National Examinations Irregularities Committee are looking into all the discrepancies that have surfaced throughout last year’s exam season.
“There wouldn’t be any irregularity that would have delayed any process in the administration of the examinations, including the processing of results after marking has taken place; so everything is going well, we just need to finish this process and then look towards the date of the 19th,” elaborated Mhlanga.
Learners have the option to rewrite certain subjects if they wish, which Elijah Mhlanga says will still take place. 8 March, 2023 is the application closing date for those who would like to make use of a second chance, as well as for those learners asking for a remark or re-check of their results.
“What is critical, is that as soon as you get your results, please look into them and immediately apply. We [the DBE] get a request for applications from people every year after the deadline has passed, and we cannot take anymore applications after that because the process is regulated; everything runs on time,” says Mhlanga.