'Stop matric exam copying'

Durban - Certain unnamed schools would be “targeted” by the Education Department during the matric examinations, Education MEC, Mthandeni Dlungwana, said on Thursday.

He said the focus would be to nip group copying in the bud.

File picture: Timothy Bernard. Credit: INDEPENDENT MEDIA

The province was embarrassed in the last examinations as it came to light that there were schools where pupils had copied during examinations.

“We will leave no stone unturned in ensuring that examination malpractices are prevented, especially group copying,” Dlungwana told the lawmakers in Pietermaritzburg.

He was outlining the province’s readiness for the examinations as the department marked 30 days before the first paper will be written.

“We want group copying to be something of the past. There are schools that we are targeting,” he said.

In clamping down on any examination irregularities, the department would ensure quality invigilation, subject targeting monitoring, safe invigilation time tables, prioritisation of monitoring, and involvement of circuit managers as well as focused monitoring in high-risk subjects.

Last year, there were group copying incidents in 39 schools in the province.

KZN was also among the poorly-performing provinces. Its pass rate dropped by 9% from 60.7% in 2014.

“It is public knowledge that KwaZulu-Natal did not do very well last year, needless to say we were all devastated and hugely disappointed."

Oozing confidence that the province was ready for the matric examinations, Dlungwana said preparations, logistics and all other related matters had been dealt with.

“We have come up with a number of programmes aimed at supporting learners during their preparations for final examinations to ensure that we produce better results this year,” he said.

The department has put in place the following initiatives:

Weekly newspaper supplements, between September 9 and October 28, for revision in 10 subjects.

Radio lesson presentations by subject specialists.

Continuation of Saturday classes in all districts.

Spring revision classes and camps in all districts.

MEC’s bootcamps for high-flyers.

KZN will print examination papers in-house.

The printing section, Dlungwana said, had tight security systems for the prevention of any leaking of information.

“We have also ensured that officials who have close relatives writing the NSC examinations are not participating in question-paper-related activities," he said.

“However, in my meeting with the head of department and the deputy directors-general on Monday, I also emphasised that we must have personnel tasked with the proper monitoring and the security of the printing area.”

Dlungwana said the selection of markers, a process which started on June 20, had been finalised.

Marking of exam papers will take place from December 5, until December 15.

A total of 171 805 full-time pupils, 92 221 females and 79 584 males, will sit for the matric examinations, up from last year’s 169 825.