The 2020 Matric exams recently tied up its second week and the Department of Basic Education (DBE) has reported that 93 students have tested positive for COVID-19 in that period.

The 93 cases are broken down by province as follows:

  • Eastern Cape: 53
  • Free State: 23
  • Western Cape: 10
  • Gauteng: 7

These numbers line up with the overall South African coronavirus reports. For months now we’ve been providing daily updates about the disease in the country and routinely the Eastern Cape reports the highest numbers of new infections.

“In the Eastern Cape the 53 candidates come from 19 different schools in Port Elizabeth, East London and Graaff Reinet,” the DBE adds.

Originally Matrics who tested positive for COVID-19 were deferred to the May/June 2021 exam season. Shortly before the exams started on 5th November, the DBE changed its tune and allowed these students to write, albeit in an isolated area with extra guidelines to keep them and the exam invigilators safe.

This abrupt change joined other measures which have been put in place to allow as many students as possible to write, such as the reduction of social distancing from two metres to one, and those with temperatures of 38 degrees Celsius to also sit for their papers.

Going back to the first week of the exams and COVID-19-positive students were recorded in five provinces: Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo.

The third week of the 2020 Matric exams starts today and the season will conclude on 15th December. Results from these papers are scheduled to be released on 22nd January 2021, barring any delays.

As the number of coronavirus cases continues to increase daily, Matric students included, it remains to be seen how this will affect the performance of the students.