As the 2017 matric exams kick off officially today, the Department of Basic Education has said one of the strategies it’s employing to minimise the possibility of paper leaks, is printing papers closer to the exam time.

The exam season starts with foreign language papers being written in two sessions today.

Matric exams have been plagued by leaked papers getting to pupils before exams were written, an occurrence which has happened each year going back to 2015. Papers have previously been leaked via WhatsApp and by physically copying papers.

The department has had to put a number of measures in place, including tightening security at venues were papers are printed and kept.

“Security and the protection of the integrity of the NSC Examinations has remained a priority. The department has therefore continued to put significant focus on ensuring that it mitigates risks associated with the storage and movement of examination scripts employing the ‘’Just in Time’’ printing approach. The approach allows for examination scripts to be printed as close as logistically possible to the writing of the examination,” the department said.

A total of 634 527 full time and 168 109 part time candidates have been registered and as has been the case since in previous years, KwaZulu-Natal has once again presented the highest number of full time candidates with 153 624 Candidates while Gauteng, with 41 952 candidates has contributed the most part time candidates.

“I wish the best of luck to all the candidates sitting for the examinations this year. Keep your head down, study hard, stay focused and I am confident you will make us proud. After at least 12 years in the education system, you owe it to yourself to put your all into these examinations so that you are able to take advantage of post schooling opportunities, the world is your oyster. Good luck to all of you”, said Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga.