Star Schools has been administering final examinations for many years and over this time, has developed a good working relationship with the Gauteng Department of Education in this regard.
The final exams are the platform from which young people launch their desired future. Consequently, Star Schools strives to create conditions in which learners are able to perform at their best.
Owing to the large number of learners registered for the Matric Rewrite Programme, the final exams are written at Nasrec and Vaal University of Technology, and are administered by Star Schools, which has a registered exam centre in Gauteng. With sometimes as many as 2200 Matric Rewrite learners writing a final exam on a given day, stringent security measures are applied at all stages of the process to ensure that the integrity of the exams remains uncompromised, before, during and after they are written.
Exams are usually written between October and November, and are the culmination of months of hard work that begins in January when the learners register for the Star Schools Matric Rewrite Programme.
Preparation for the exams begins in August with the recruitment of invigilators. Because of Star Schools’ large learner numbers, usually around 150 invigilators are appointed, who undergo a two-hour training session on the exam procedure. In September, the learners are issued with new exam numbers and timetables.
A significant amount of work must be done on the morning of an exam before the learners can begin writing. The Star Schools team, together with the invigilators, arrive at the venue as early as 7h00 to carry out final preparations. No learners are allowed into the venue during this time.
Each invigilator signs the invigilators register and receives a copy of the learner seating plan, which consists of alphanumerically numbered blocks of 40 learners each, in accordance with the register provided by the GDE. One invigilator is assigned to each block of learners.
Each learner is assigned a specific desk, which are placed one metre apart, as per GDE regulations, and numbered according to the seating plan. Copies of the seating plan are pasted outside the entrance for learners to reference as they arrive so that they find their desk quickly and easily when the doors open.
Invigilators check learners’ ID documents and exam timetables as they are seated.
At the end of the exam invigilators collect the answer books from their group of learners in numerical order and secure them in a plastic sleeve wrapping. The books are then sealed in plastic bags and transported back to the nodal point in a three-vehicle convoy.
Many learners who register for the Matric Rewrite Programme do so in order to qualify for tertiary education. Star Schools’ programme has been extremely successful over the years, with its learners gaining successful entry.
Star Schools ranks among the top ten feeder schools to various tertiary institutions, including Witwatersrand University and the University of Johannesburg. The organisation is also the second highest feeder school to the University of KwaZulu-Natal, and ranks third and fifth highest to the Durban University of Technology and the University of Zululand respectively.
Star Schools’ learners who are accepted into tertiary institutions tend to remain there until the end of their studies. They do not contribute to the 80% dropout rate statistic for first year students, the reason being they are relatively well versed in English, understand the importance of time management and most importantly, that hard work and commitment lead to success.
As part of its corporate social investment portfolio, Star Schools has partnered with the Sunshine Centre Association, a non-profit organisation that provides early childhood intervention day care facilities to children with physical, developmental and intellectual disabilities.
Star Schools participated in the 2015 Casual Day campaign and raised more than R23 000 in the sale of Casual Day stickers on behalf of Sunshine centre.
Staff regularly visit the association’s early intervention centres in Craighall, Eldorado Park and Elsburg to interact with the children and learning practitioners.
Additional assistance is provided in the form of mentoring and skills transfer in various projects identified by Sunshine Centre.
In association with G1 Media, Star Schools sponsored the production of a marketing video for Sunshine Centre, to be used as part of its fundraising campaign.
SUNSHINE CENTRE MARKETING VIDEO