'Matrics have been through enough': MEC urges Eskom not to impose power cuts during exams

Nearly 10,000 Western Cape grade 12 pupils write practical examinations on Wednesday and Thursday. File photo.
Nearly 10,000 Western Cape grade 12 pupils write practical examinations on Wednesday and Thursday. File photo.
Image: Gallo Images/ IStock

Western Cape education MEC Debbie Schäfer says the department of basic education has engaged with power utility Eskom not to impose power cuts when nearly 10,000 grade 12 pupils write practical examinations on Wednesday and Thursday.

The exams are in information technology (IT) and computer applications technology (CAT).

Schäfer said this was to ensure there is no repeat of last year's blackouts, which “wreaked havoc across the country during these practical exams”.

“I urge Eskom to put contingency measures in place to avoid a repeat of last year's disruption. Our matrics have been through enough this year. It is not fair to cause them more anxiety with blackouts,” the MEC said.

Eskom has not imposed load-shedding in weeks, but the MEC said it remain an ever-present threat.

Schäfer said examinations teams will monitor the situation and will be on standby to implement necessary measures should schools experience planned or unplanned power outages.

In a case of planned power cuts, pupils will be required to remain in the examination centre until power is restored. She said they may not communicate with one another.

Exams disrupted by more than two hours of unscheduled power outages may be postponed.

“If after two hours, the power supply has not been restored, the examination must be rescheduled in consultation with the Western Cape education department's examinations administration directorate,” she said.

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