Investigation On Matric Exam Cheating Makes Progress

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The 2022 matric examinations saw hundreds of Grade 12 learners and several invigilators involved in cheating allegations. The education department says good progress is being made with ongoing investigations.


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Last year, several incidents of cheating and exam irregularities were reported at exam centres across the country, including one incident where at least 370 learners in Mpumalanga were part of a WhatsApp group chat in which exam answers were shared.

During a recent parliamentary committee meeting the Department of Basic Education (DBE) highlighted that one of the main challenges observed during the 2022 matric finals was the emerging trends relating to irregularity/cheating assistance by invigilators and teachers.

The department stressed that hard action was taken when teachers, learners, and invigilators were found to have not complied with the code.

“The DBE certainly condemned it at the highest level and that its invigilators and teachers were there to ensure a credible exam,” said Chief Director for National Assessments and Public Examinations in the DBE, Dr Rufus Poliah.

Giving an update on the investigations, Poliah said the department had identified a few implicated teachers and that the investigation was ongoing, particularly with the Mpumalanga irregularity.

He noted, “Regarding the one teacher that shared answers erroneously on a teacher’s group, he said the teacher was identified and suspended immediately”

Poliah said the teacher was currently going through the normal disciplinary process, adding that the teacher's cellphone was confiscated, and an appointed company was busy with the forensic analysis of the cellphone.

The Employment of Educators Act was clear that an examination irregularity was a dismissible offence. Provinces had procedures in place for educators that were identified to be non-compliant.

Furthermore, in an effort to address the issue of exam cheating, the department has submitted an improvement plan to Umalusi that will be acknowledged on yearly basis.

Some of the improvement recommendations included:

  • The DBE must build capacity in internal moderators to enhance the quality of internal moderation.
  • The DBE must monitor compliance to policy prescripts as provided for, for effective implementation of internal assessment.
  • The DBE must strive to invest in beefing up the security at storage points. The norms and standard on security of question paper as it stands, requires close monitoring of its implementation across all levels of the system.

In addition, the DBE is also has to block the results of all candidates implicated in irregularities including the candidates who are implicated in the alleged acts of dishonesty, pending the outcome of the DBE investigations and verification by Umalusi.

Once the investigation has concluded an learners is found to have cheated in the final matric exams, they could be disqualified from the exam, and even be barred from writing one to three subsequent examinations.

 

Suggested Article:

Education minister concerned about matric exam cheating

As matriculants around South Africa prepare for their final school examinations, many will feel stressed and anxious about the upcoming exams. The results they receive will affect the next step of their educational journey, however, cheating could derail their plans completely.

 

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