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Call for Public Transport Providers to Assist Learners During Exams

27 October 2014

Statement by Debbie Schäfer, Western Cape Minister of Education

 

Today, 27 October, thousands of matric candidates will begin to write the 2014 National Senior Certificate examinations.

 
Many of these candidates rely on public transport to make it to their examination venue each day.  
 
With reports of Metrorail trains being delayed or cancelled of late, it is therefore a concern that there is a possibility that some Matric candidates will not reach their examination venues on time.
 
I have discussed this concern with the Provincial Minister for Transport and Public Works, Donald Grant, who has, in his time as Provincial Education Minister, seen the effects of late public transport on candidates writing the matric exams.
 
Minister Grant is therefore joining me in my appeal to Metrorail and the taxi associations to assist us in ensuring that candidates get to their exam centres on time.
 
I sincerely hope that we can have their support, and the support of other road users and communities, during this very important time for our matric learners.
 
Minister Grant: “I am appealing to all of our public transport partners, SANTACO, Metrorail, Golden Arrow Bus Services (GABS) and MyCiti, to take the necessary steps to ensure that scholars traveling to and from their examinations are not disrupted in any way during this crucial time.
 
We are committed to working closely with our partners to provide the necessary support and ensure that no scholar is prejudiced. Parents and learners must make use of the available avenues to report delays that may threaten their getting to their examinations on time”.
 
“For information on all public transport, commuters can call the Transport for Cape Town Information Centre on 0800 65 64 63 (Toll-free from a landline) where trained consultants will assist. This is a 24-hour call centre. They can also contact www.capemetrorail.co.za or www.gometro.mobi or on twitter @CapeTownTrains for train schedules and updates,” said Minister Grant.
 
We both would like to also encourage our matric candidates to be mindful of the fact the public transport can be unreliable and to ensure that they leave home earlier so as to make up for any possible delays. 
 
Candidates may be admitted into an examination room provided they arrive within one hour of the exam starting – however, a learner arriving within the one hour period will still have the same time-frame as other candidates. I.e. if there is a 3 hour exam and a candidate arrives 30 minute late, then the candidate will have only 2 and half hours to complete the examination.
 
Therefore arriving late will ultimately put the candidate at a disadvantage.
 
A candidate arriving later than one hour will not be allowed to write the examination at all and will have to take a supplementary next year.
 
Given these implications we appeal to all candidates who rely on public transport to ensure that they leave home earlier.
 
They should rather be at the venue early than risk being late.
Media Enquiries: 
Jessica Shelver
Spokesperson to Minister Debbie Schäfer
Cell: 076 175 0663