South Aftica, Durban – As the 2020 academic year came to an end Education MEC Kwazi Mshengu thanked teachers in the province for their dedication and support during this difficult time.
“We had to be creative and think outside the box to save the academic year while ensuring that the pupils and our teachers were safe from the pandemic. We once again would like to thank the teachers for holding down the fort during this difficult period,” said Mshengu.
He said the festive season was time with family. “Now that the academic year is done and dusted despite the challenges, it is now time for everyone to enjoy the festive season in a responsible way.
“While we enjoy the well-deserved break, let us also think about and pray for strength and comfort to those who lost their loved ones during this year. Most significantly, let us be vigilant and respect all the regulations so that we begin the year 2021 safe from the pandemic.”
Mshengu also urged everyone to enjoy the festive season responsibly by obeying the rules of the road. “Let us also rest and replenish our energies so that we approach the year 2021 with much-needed vigour and vitality.
“We need to continue to wear our masks, keep social distancing and sanitise our hands and surfaces at all times,” said Mshengu.
According to Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga, during her address last week, pupils had lost at least 47 days away from the classroom due to the Covid-19 pandemic. She said more than 700 pupils had tested positive for Covid-19 and 1 493 teachers and other school-based employees had died of Covid-19.
The year had also recorded the biggest exam paper leaks in history, but the class of 2020 escaped without having to rewrite the leaked Mathematics Paper 2 and the Physical Science Paper 2 following a court challenge.
The business studied paper which had also been leaked, was fortunately discovered before it could be written and it was replaced with a backup paper.
The Department of Basic Education in the 2020 academic year administered the largest National Senior Certificate Exams in history due to the combined writing of the November final exams and the June exams, which were postponed in June due to the pandemic.
The exams began smoothly on November 5 and concluded on December 15. The marking of all scripts will start on February 4.
The results will be announced on February 22, and pupils should receive their results on February 23.