Cheats face two-year ban

2012-12-21 00:00

AN entire matric class could be banned from writing their final exams for two years after the pupils were found to have cheated, allegedly with the help of their principal and teachers.

The Education Department said yesterday that it was still trying to establish how many pupils, who sat for their 2012 final exams at the high school in far northern KwaZulu-Natal, were affected.

The department said the headmaster of the school was fired and the four teachers who supervised the exams were suspended.

It is alleged that the headmaster and teachers allowed pupils to use their textbooks during their exams and also assisted them with answers in some cases.

Head of the Education Department Dr Nkosinathi Sishi said the incident should be condemned in the strongest possible terms.

“This is a very disappointing situation,” said Sishi.

“It will be sad especially for the people who did not participate of their own free will.”

Sishi said the sanctions for those involved would be heavy.

“I can tell you that if our investigations reveal that some pupils cheated, their results will be null and void.

“It will be like they never wrote those exams, and those children will be sanctioned.

“They will not be able to write exams for two years,” he added.

Sishi said the department’s officials had learned of the irregularities from one of their district managers in the area.

“The allegations made against the principal were serious, and we­ ­convened a tribunal that found the principal guilty and he was fired,” Sishi said.

In a move designed to ensure the innocent were not punished, the department said the results from the school would be isolated and scrutinised to determine if all the matric pupils were involved in cheating.

“We do not want to punish all the children as there could be some who did not participate,” said Sishi.

He said the incident should serve as a warning to others that the department would not tolerate any tampering with exams.

The principal told The Witness yesterday that he had not received any communication from the department indicating that he had been dismissed. Asked about the department’s allegations against him, he ended the call.

The department said it had also referred the matter to the police for investigation.

• thamsanqam@witness.co.za

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