40 days to the 2017 NSC: WCED support for Candidates
The matric class of 2017 is entering arguably one of the most challenging and stressful time of their lives so far - the build up to their final examinations.
To the 2017 NSC Candidates, your success will depend on what you put into your studies.
This in turn depends on how you plan your time, how hard you study, and that you stay focused, positive and healthy.
Some candidates will start examinations for the National Senior Certificate (NSC) on 16 October, with practical examinations in Computer Application Technology (CAT).
However, the vast majority of candidates will start on Tuesday, 24 October with English home language, and first and second additional language.
With 40 days to go until the start for most candidates, it is important that they use of all the resources available to them.
The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) is committed to supporting our NSC candidates in every possible way to pass matric and to achieve excellent results.
Thousands of NSC candidates across the Western Cape have already begun writing the 2017 NSC trial examinations.
Our district teams have worked closely with high schools to support learners over the past three years, to ensure their retention, and to prepare them for this year's NSC exams.
This has included analysing results per school in great detail to identify strengths and weaknesses per subject in both teaching and learning, and taking steps to address weaknesses and to build on strengths.
In addition to support in the classroom, our districts have arranged Winter and Spring schools during holidays, among other initiatives.
We have shifted our focus from supporting not only the Grade 12 learners, but their teachers as well, to improve the system as a whole, rather than to rely on short-term, band aid solutions late in the day.
The department has provided every school with a book for every learner called "Tips for Success" that provides study advice for every subject; a 104-page document that provides exemplar papers for practising exams in high enrolment subjects; and a document that provides links to digital revision materials online mainly videos. The "Tips for Success" booklet can be downloaded from the WCED's website, via "Matric Support" at https:/wcedonline.westerncape.gov.za.
The WCED has developed an online library of digital resources, housed on the department's ePortal, as part of the Western Cape Government's eLearning Game Changer programme. Candidates can search for content by grade, subject, topic and keyword at http://wcedeportal.co.za/
The importance of practicing exam questions cannot be emphasised enough. This is why the WCED has made past exam papers available to all learners. Candidates should use their June examination results as an indication of what their strong and weaker subjects are. I encourage all candidates to work through these ahead of the exams. They are available via the WCED's Matric Support site.
There is also a wide range of matric revision videos on the WCED's YouTube channel. These provide guidance mainly on how to tackle specific questions in the exam. They are available via the WCED's Matric Support web site, which also provides answers to 57 frequently asked questions.
With only 40 days to go before most candidates start of the 2017 NSC examinations, our matric learners have less than 7 days per subject of study time remaining.
We wish all schools and all candidates every success as they enter the final straight before the start of the NSC examinations. We are confident that the Class of 2017 will do us proud, thanks to the hard work of our learners, teachers, principals and officials, supported by parents.