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South Africa: Covid-19 Positive Learners Allowed to Write Matric Exams

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The Basic Education Department has reviewed its COVID-19 exam protocols to allow learners who test positive for the Coronavirus to sit for their final matric examinations.

The DBE previously issued a set of guidelines, which indicated that learners who were COVID-19 positive would not be allowed to enter the exam centre.

Following a petition by parents and learners who called for a review of the protocols, the DBE in consultation with the Health Department concluded an agreement on Wednesday evening and conceded to the request.

The about turn came just a day before more than 1 million learners – 1 058 699 candidates will sit for their final National Senior Certificate (NSC) exams.

The two departments jointly considered the requests and deliberated on the practical implications.

It was agreed that candidates who test positive, and deemed fit to write the examination will be allowed to write albeit at a different venue and under secure conditions that are in compliance with the examination regulations.

The departments will work jointly to ensure that candidates who have been confirmed to be positive are given an opportunity to sit for the exams while ensuring that safety is observed.

“We welcome the intervention by the Department of Health given that a learner that tests positive becomes the responsibility of the Department of Health and no longer an education issue.