The Department of Basic Education (DBE) has confirmed a number of changes to the supplementary exam timetable and structure in South Africa.
In April 2018, it was reported that supplementary exams would be scrapped in favour of a new system that will delay rewrites to the middle of the year.
The way supplementary exams currently work is that any student who failed a matric paper – or would like an opportunity to do better in one – can register to rewrite with an extra-curricular set of papers written in the first few months of the new school year.
The department has now confirmed that from 2019, supplementary exams will no longer take place in March but rather in June.
The DBE said that this was primarily because of the number of learners who failed to write the exams in the March period.
“We have noted that on average around 40,000 learners who enrol for supplementary examinations every year do not turn up to write the examinations,” it said.
“This results in massive wasteful expenditure.”
The department added that this new system will also give learners enough time for revision.
“By having these examinations in June, there will adequate time for revision and learners can make use of the comprehensive support material provided through the Second Chance matric support programme.
“This will also allow learners to the opportunity to rewrite as many subjects as they want as opposed to the current two subjects allowed.”
The DBE said that supplementary exams are bearing fruit as seen with the increase in learners who obtained their National Senior Certificate.
In 2018, learners who wrote the supplementary exam and obtained the NSC increased from 401,435 to 411,523 – an increase of 10,088 candidates.