- The Western Cape's MEC for Education Debbie Schafer has come out in strong criticism over Eskom
- Schafer is lamenting the utility's move to Stage 4 load shedding as matriculants sit for their final exams
- Schafer believes the outages will add to the burden experienced by the 2021 matric class, including the Covid-19 pandemic
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CAPE TOWN - Member of the Executive Council (MEC) for education in the Western Cape Debbie Schafer has hurled harsh criticism at Eskom's move to implement Stage 4 load shedding amid final matric exams.
Her passionate response to the crises comes a day after Eskom announced Stage 4 power outages from midday on Wednesday.
According to a statement released by the power utility on Tuesday, Stage 4 load shedding will end at 5 am on Friday.
Schafer believes the added burden of the power outages will add to an already overburdened and challenged 2021 matric class.
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"The move to Stage 4 load shedding just as we begin the exam session is disappointing and a total disgrace," said Schafer.
"Learners [are already] going through so much with the Covid-19 pandemic. And now they have to worry about this, on top of trying to study for the exams."
No incidents amid English exams
According to a report by News24, over 63 000 learners wrote the first English paper, of which the MEC said there were no disruptions.
"However, our officials will be on standby throughout the examinations to assist schools and candidates with any problems that may arise."
A separate IOL report claimed that the current load shedding cycle won't impact the National Senior Certificates (NSC) exams.
"Load shedding is a concern. However, it does not affect the examinations as natural light is sufficient for learners [to write].
"The only challenge is when candidates are delayed due to traffic congestion resulting from the outages and arrive late at the exam venue."
Angie Motshekga says 2021 matric results to be released early next year
In other news, Briefly News previously reported that Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga told the media that the 2021 matric results would be released in January 2022.
The provisional date for the release of the results is 20 January 2022. Director of Public Examinations and Assessment at the Department, Priscilla Ogunbanjo said that the number of learners both full time and part-time had increased.
Learners who test positive for Covid 19 will write their exams in isolation rooms at their exam locations or at selected centres.
News24 reported that the exams are set to begin in late October and are planned to continue until early December.
The final exam paper will be written on 7 December and marking is expected to be complete by 22 December, just before Christmas according to SABC News.