Monitors to watch cheating matrics

2014-09-07 15:44

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Mbombela - The Mpumalanga government has appointed fulltime monitors to deal with schools that have a history of incidents of irregularities during matric exams.

More than 65 000 pupils will be writing their matric exams in Mpumalanga this year at 546 examination centres between October and November 2014.

“All sectors of society are called upon to afford candidates conducive environment to sit for their examinations. This is a culmination of 12 years of hard-work and huge sacrifice by the youth of our province,” said Premier David Mabuza spokesperson Zibonele Mncwango on Friday.

“Schools with history of incidents of irregularities will receive intensive monitoring through full-time monitors.”

Mpumalanga has had a dodgy track record when it comes to holding matric exams.

Exam-related crises go back to 1998, when current Premier David Mabuza was education MEC.

His department was accused of inflating that year's results by 20 percentage points, from 52% to 72%.

This followed a pass rate of 47% the previous year.

In 2004, matric results were withheld because of irregularities and, in 2008, more than 9 000 pupils in the province did not receive their results on time because the department had failed to submit their results to the national department for capturing.

In 2009, matric exams were marred by the leaking of several papers.

In November 2010, local police arrested 13 people, including an education official, a teacher, a prison official, 10 pupils and a worker at Clicks, in connection with leaking exam materials ahead of the exams. This led to a decision by the national education department to take control of the matric exams.

On Friday, Mncwango said opportunistic activities to disrupt external and internal examinations will not be tolerated this time around.

“The Executive Council was assured that law enforcement agencies would be on high alert to swiftly and decisively deal with any effort to undermine this important life defining right to our youth.

“The on-site final candidate verification was done with school principals before the winter school recess,” Mncwango said.

He added that the Executive Council also approved the Mpumalanga Provincial Mathematics Strategy, which seeks to increase the participation rates in Mathematics from Grade 10 to 12.

He said the the strategy will include recruiting well-performing Grade 12 pupils and award them bursaries to study to become Mathematics teachers.

“The Executive Council called upon all community members and teachers in particular to refrain from discouraging learners from taking Mathematics and Science,” said Mncwango.

“Choosing an easy way out of school compromises the quality of the final Grade 12 pass and limits career opportunities for the youth.”

Read more on:    mbombela  |  education

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