Matric exam cheats, beware

2008-10-20 00:00

Matric exam cheats had better beware.

THE MEC of Education in KwaZulu-Natal, Ina Cronje, yesterday gave a stern warning to would-be cheaters, saying that if convicted, cheaters could have their results declared null and void.

Cronje was addressing the media on the state of readiness for he exams in Durban.

Cronje described the upcoming exams as a “massive operation”, but one which the department is well prepared for.

She said that printing is at an advanced stage and on schedule for the more than 150 000 matriculants who will sit in as the trail-blazers for the first-ever National Senior Certificate (NSC) examination in the province, starting from next Wednesday until December 3.

“Papers will be delivered in the morning of the exams. I have to make this point clear … It is normal procedure to deliver papers in the morning to minimise the opportunity of leaking. No papers will be stored in writing venues, and marking centres will be [staffed] by security,” Cronje said.

For pupils toying with the idea of cheating, the message from the head of department in the province is clear.

Harsh measures will be taken, which might lead to cheats being barred from writing the examination for up to three years and may even lead to arrest in some instances, depending on the severity of the offence.

Copiers could also have their results declared null and void.

“Cheating won’t be tolerated. We won’t allow the matric certificate to be devalued. So yes, learners can be arrested if the case is so serious that it needs the intervention of the SAPS. Examples of that will include writing for another candidate or writing the examinations outside the designated venue.”

On another note, Cronje said her department will “move heaven and earth” to ensure that pupils who encounter challenges beyond their control are accommodated and not prejudiced.

In the unlikely event of floods, power failures, shortages, fires or transport problems, arrangements have been made with the police, the SA National Defence Force and local municipalities, she said.

“Each district has off-road vehicles to deliver question papers in difficult terrain. Should it become necessary to deliver question papers by air, helicopters will be on standby for difficult situations,” she said.

Cronje added that in any event of leakages of question papers, the Education Department has back-up papers already set.

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