Picture: govpage.co.za

Johannesburg - The Department of Basic Education (DBE) said on Thursday that there was no breach in integrity around the Mathematics Paper 1, this after various versions of the Marking guidelines relating to that exam started circulating on social media.

"The DBE wishes to inform candidates that this should not be construed as a possible compromise of the Mathematics Paper 1," DBE spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga said in a statement.

Mhlanga said that the paper was written on 27 October and the marking guidelines were released a few hours after the examination was completed as per standard procedure.

A number of matriculants were reported to be late for their mathematics paper due to the "Black Monday" march in Tshwane.

"Chief markers and internal moderators are requested to evaluate the standard of the paper and the marking guidelines and make their inputs based on a sample of scripts that would be marked by them."

The department said that this was done in preparation for the National Marking Standardisation meeting where the Marking guidelines will be finalised.

They said in addition teachers also worked out the answers to establish the fairness or difficulty of the paper or prepare for marking.

"It has been noted in a few Provinces that teachers, after having developed these Marking guidelines, post them on various Social Media platforms where members of the public can access them."

The DBE said that in a few of the versions of the marking guidelines that were being circulated, comments are written on the marking guideline confirming that that was part of a discussion document being put together for the marking standardisation meeting.

"It is inappropriate for these documents to be publicly available at this stage as marking has not commenced," they said.

"It should, however, be noted that the availability of the documents via social media and elsewhere doesn’t constitute a breach."

The Department said they would nevertheless investigate the circumstances leading to the distribution of the documents.