Earlier this week, a whistle-blower alleged that hundreds of matric learners from schools in the Mpumalanga province received answers to questions during the final examinations from teachers and invigilators.
The Quality Council for General and Further Education and Training In South Africa (Umalusi) has issued a statement to reassure the public that it will continue using its standard quality assurance mechanisms to safeguard the integrity and credibility of the final matric exams.
This comes after it was reported that approximately 370 matric candidates in the Mpumalanga province were part of a WhatsApp group chat where exam answers were shared.
According to several reports, the matric learners in question paid teachers to have access to the answers posted on the particular WhatsApp group and during toilet breaks while the examinations were in session.
The Department of Basic Education and Training (DBE) confirmed it has launched a thorough investigation into allegations of exam cheating at three schools in Mpumalanga.
Umalusi stated that it is still awaiting the outcome of the investigation and the submission of the report by the DBE.
“As a standard practice, the report will, once received, be tabled for the consideration of the relevant structures of Umalusi Council for a decision.”
In order not to be pre-emptive, Umalusi is unable to communicate on this matter prior to the receipt and consideration of the DBE’s report.
Umalusi adds that the decision the council then takes will eventually be communicated publicly.
“I want to reassure the public that Umalusi will continue using its rigorous and robust quality assurance mechanisms to safeguard the integrity and credibility of the National Senior Certificate,” said Umalusi CEO, Dr Mafu Rakometsi.
Many have called on the department to allow the candidates an opportunity to rewrite the affected papers and others have urged the department to arrest the teachers who were involved.
The basic education department has assured the public that once the investigation is completed, appropriate action would be taken.