Teachers And Learners Implicated In Alleged Matric Exam Cheating

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Hundreds of Grade 12 learners will face scrutiny in the coming days after allegations of cheating surfaced this week. The education department launched a full investigation into the alleged cheating.

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The Department of Basic Education (DBE) has launched a full investigation into alleged examination cheating by Grade 12 learners in Mpumalanga. It is alleged that at least 370 learners were part of a group chat in which answers were shared.

A whistleblower reported the incident to the DBE via their WhatsApp hotline set up to allow individuals to report any examination irregularities.

WhatsApp is also at the centre of the cheating scandal. It was reported that learners allegedly paid to be part of a WhatsApp group in which answers were shared and the scope of examinations were divulged.

The whistleblower further alleged that learners were provided with answers during bathroom breaks.

DBE spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga has revealed that individuals may have coordinated to assist learners during the National Senior Certificate (NSC) exams. They emphasised that this is illegal and have called on individuals that have participated in any irregularities to come forward and assist the department during its investigation.

Mhlanga says the examination paper did not leak. Their preliminary assumptions are that once the examination paper was handed out or just before it was handed out to learners, individuals would begin working out the answers. These answers would then be shared to learners.

They warned that individuals that are implicated to be guilty till face consequences. In South Africa, a learner who is found to have cheated in the NSC matric exams could be disqualified from the exam, and even be barred from writing one to three subsequent examinations.

Teachers will also face disciplinary action should they be implicated in cheating. One teacher has already been suspended for a separate cheating incident.

If you involve yourself in wrongdoing it's going to come out one day it may not be now but it will come out soon and you will be in big trouble because if you are a teacher, an educator or an official, disciplinary action will be taken against you

Mhlanga said the investigation will not take place to verify the claims made of cheating. Once their investigation is completed, they will proceed with appropriate action.

The National Association of School Governing Bodies (NASGB) has condemned plagiarism in the strongest terms. They called for action to be taken against all the implicated individuals.

NASGB National Secretary Matakanye Matakanye believes an anti-cell phone policy must be adopted to avoid incidents like this in the future. This is especially important when it comes to examinations. 


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