Exam cheaters warned

2010-10-22 00:00

THE KZN Education Department will be ruthless in dealing with any chancers who might try to cheat the system during this exam season.

This was the stern message from MEC Senzo Mchunu, briefing the media on his department’s state of readiness for the examinations starting on Monday.

The National Teachers’ Union (Natu) has been among those voicing their concern that paper leakages might present a serious problem this year. They said pupils may feel underprepared because KZN, unlike the other provinces, did not have a proper co-ordinated recovery programme after the strike.

Natu’s deputy president and spokesperson, Allen Thompson, told The Witness that the fact that KZN did not have an extensive recovery plan initiated by the department, as well as the time lost during the World Cup, might result in pupils feeling they have to resort to other ways to do well — cheating.

Thompson feels the department needs to spell out just what measures will be taken against offenders.

“Whenever there is a human element, you can’t guarantee that things will go exactly as planned because there will always be people who would try to undermine the system. However, we have taken the approach of planning as if something will happen,” Mchunu said, responding to questions about the department’s preparedness for any surprises.

“What people have to understand is that we start planning for this as early as January and the advantage is that we also build on experience,” he said.

According to Mchunu, the department has a security advisory directorate, which together with other security agencies, have put in place an elaborate plan to secure the entire examination process.

He said this extensive planning includes working out how papers will be printed, where the scripts will be kept before the exams are written and who will be involved in these processes.

“We work right down to the finer details of how long it takes to transport papers from one point to the other. The drivers are required to be of sober habit because we are serious about security.”

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