Umalusi approves matric results but continues investigation into two leaked papers
Cape Town – The quality assurance examination board, Umalusi, has approved the release of the 2020 National Senior Certificate (NSC) examination results, with the council revealing it found no irregularities that could have compromised the credibility of the exams.
Umalusi Council chairperson John Volmink told the media at a briefing on Monday, that the results of matrics implicated in group copying and paper leakages would be withheld.
Volmink said the executive committee of the council had approved the release of the Department of Basic Education (DBE) results of the November 2020 NSC based on available evidence that the examinations were administered in accordance with the examination policies and regulations despite the identified irregularities.
He said the department was required to block the results of candidates implicated in irregularities, including the candidates involved in group copying, pending the outcome of further DBE investigations.
He said the investigation into the leakage of Mathematics Paper 2 and Physical Sciences Paper 2 was not yet complete and would continue until finalised.
Stellenbosch University’s curriculum studies department chairperson, Professor Michael le Cordeur, said he supported Umalusi’s findings.
"It was the right thing to do because the number of pupils involved was just a fraction of the total students."
UWC Education Faculty deputy dean of research, Rouaan Maarman, said Umalusi had guidelines on how they determined the credibility of examinations.
He said as long as most indicators were achieved, they were bound to approve the results.
"There must be widespread demonstrable evidence available for them not to approve it."
Maarman said the entity worked on districts, regions and provinces to assess the credibility of exams.
"I think that until we have seen the results and studied the trends, we will not be able to comment properly on the credibility."
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said the department was on schedule for the release of the 2020 NSC exam results on February 22, and candidates should get their statements of results on February 23 from their schools.
Umalusi chief executive Dr Mafu Rakometsi said they had conducted the monitoring of marking and related processes across all assessment bodies. More importantly, Umalusi moderators drew a sample of pupils’ scripts to verify the quality of marking in various subjects.
Rakometsi said that unfortunately Umalusi had observed a disturbing increase in the number of people who sold fraudulent certificates on online platforms.
"Kindly note that either selling or buying a fraudulent certificate is a serious criminal offence. Therefore, Umalusi is currently working with law enforcement agencies to track down these criminals and institute a legal process against them," he said.
He appealed to stakeholders involved in the examination process to refrain from engaging in such unscrupulous acts.
"Umalusi takes a dim view of paper leakages during the writing of examinations as they have the potential to compromise the integrity and credibility of the examinations."