Investigators in matric copying scandal attacked - dept

2015-06-18 12:53

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Durban - The Department of Basic Education has condemned the intimidation of investigators conducting hearings into the matric group copying scandal that has rocked KwaZulu-Natal.

In a statement, national department spokesperson Troy Martens said the attacks on the investigators and acts of violence will not solve the problems of those teachers and students who are implicated.

“In at least three centres [in KZN] where the hearings were scheduled, learners engaged in violent protests where cars have been damaged, officials have been locked out of the venue, and in another case they were locked in at the venue, all in an attempt to intimidate those conducting the hearings,” she said.

“This kind of behaviour will not be tolerated and law enforcement authorities will be called in to deal with rogue elements perpetuating the violence. We have opened a criminal case with the police and those who damaged cars and property will be dealt with in terms of the law.

“The DBE has taken a decision to move the hearings from certain venues to more secure locations.

“We will not be intimidated and the hearings will go on as scheduled. Those resorting to such violent and drastic measures appear as if they have something to hide; we will work closely with police to have them arrested,” she said.

Group copying the primary form of cheating

A raft of schools were implicated in the copy scandal which tainted the image of the provincial Education Department.

News24 reported earlier that education oversight body Umalusi has said cheating in the 2014 matric exams took place across seven of the country’s nine provinces - with KZN and the Eastern Cape being the worst of the two.

The Department of Basic Education’s special investigative audit report had identified group copying as the primary form of cheating.

Martens said that there was no intention to prevent those accused of cheating from completing their school indefinitely.

“We want these learners to go on to have a bright future. The provisions in the examination regulations stipulate that those found guilty of cheating in the NSC examinations can be excluded from writing the examinations for a period of three years.

“We are however aware that even one year is a long period of time in the life of a child, and while we want to teach these learners a valuable lesson and create a strong deterrent from future participation in such behaviour, we will also be sympathetic in our approach to the learners and in each case the sanction will be determined by the merits of the case.

“However principals, teachers and invigilators implicated will face full disciplinary action as they should be more responsible and should be setting a positive example for those entrusted in their tutorship,” Martens added.

The hearings are expected to be concluded by the end of this month.  

Read more on:    durban  |  education  |  crime

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