Basic Education minister Angie Motshekga accompanied by Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi monitor the start of the NSC examination at Sekano-Ntoane secondary school in Soweto. Picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency (ANA)
Basic Education minister Angie Motshekga accompanied by Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi monitor the start of the NSC examination at Sekano-Ntoane secondary school in Soweto. Picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency (ANA)

Basic Education, Hawks probe matric exam paper leaks

By Se-Anne Rall Time of article published Nov 23, 2020

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Durban - The Council of Education Ministers - a body comprised of Minister Angie Motshekga and the nine provincial MECs - has launched an investigation into how pupils obtained the maths and physical science papers just hours before they were due to sit for the exams.

Following an urgent meeting on Monday, the CEM said they had dispatched teams to provinces to re-check the security systems.

"The reported leak of physics paper two come after the department asked the Hawks to investigate an earlier incident involving maths last week," the statement read.

The council said the investigations are at an advanced stage and details on the progress of the probe will be made public at the right time while areas of possible weakness have been identified.

"The CEM expressed concern that the leaks were causing disruptions to a system which already experienced challenges due to Covid-19.

Motshekga said it was unfortunate that people continued to be involved in leaks even though the consequences can be dire.

"We condemn in the strongest terms the conduct of persons who undermine the integrity of the examination because it causes untold stress on the learners who are looking forward to exiting the schooling system with a pass from an honest examination, not one associated with cheating," she said.

The minister reassured the public that officials were hard at work to ensure that the exams are protected.

"The Hawks have been helpful in working with us and they are encouraging developments coming from their side," she said.

DA spokesperson on education, Dr Imran Keeka said the leaks casts an even greater cloud over the integrity of the entire matric exam process.

"Exam papers should have an excessively secure pathway from the National Department to provinces, and from provincial secure printing and holding locations to district nodal points until it reaches learners. Those tasked with ensuring the credibility of the outcome of these exams can no longer be said to be beyond reproach if the investigation is not intensified to find the source of the leaks very fast," Keeka said.

He said that the Class of 2020 has already had an incredibly challenging academic year, and yet another leak would lead to further anxiety for matric pupils on how it will impact the rest of the examinations going forward.

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