Just a few days after the investigation into the National Senior Examinations Maths Paper 2 leak, a KwaZulu-Natal school on the South Coast may be responsible for leaking Maths Paper 1.
The provincial Department of Education confirmed that it was investigating the allegation and that the Department of Basic Education had also been informed. Maths Paper 1 was written last Thursday and was allegedly leaked the day before.
A lot of pupils at the South Coast school apparently had access to the paper via a chat group. A source at the school claimed that pupils still sat the exam despite the leak being brought to the school management’s attention.
“We were asked not to make a fuss because the school management does not want to create unnecessary trouble for themselves by having to rewrite the exam. However, I cannot simply turn a blind eye to this, especially since Maths Paper 2 was leaked. “It is for this reason I ask to remain anonymous, as was allowed in the Department of Basic Education press release regarding the leaking of Maths Paper 2. I do not wish to get in trouble with the principal and school management,” the source told The Daily News.
“As far as I am aware, the paper was received by the pupils the night before the exam. I do not know where the actual paper came from. All I know is that a pupil had access to it because I heard about it at the school.
“I know that the majority of matric pupils are very friendly with each other. I believe that the management may know more about this, but they did not report it. I am aware that this entire paper was circulated on a chat group by many, if not all, of the pupils at the school,” said the source.
The Daily News yesterday contacted the school for comment, but the principal did not respond by the time of publication.
Provincial Education spokesperson Muzi Mahlambi said the matter was brought to its attention on Wednesday.
“We are investigating and should we find this to be true, we will not hesitate to take disciplinary action.”
Mahlambi could not reveal details of the investigation or how long it was expected to take. KZN Parents Association chairperson Vee Gani said that he was unaware of the leak, but said he would not find it shocking after the confirmation that Maths Paper 2 was leaked.
“This issue questions the department’s security because it’s unfair for the pupils who have worked hard and know that they did well only to be subjected to a rewrite not knowing what to expect. Those who had no involvement in the leak will be prejudiced. Obviously, the department would take strong action against those implicated. The department is in a dilemma right now because the extent of the leak is not yet known.”
The Congress of South African Students provincial chairperson Zithulele Ndlela said it, too, was unaware of the Paper 1 leak allegations.
He said the department should take responsibility for its shortcomings whenever an exam paper was leaked and bear the consequences of its mistakes.
“We do not support any leaking of exam papers and sabotage to the exams. Those responsible must face the consequences. We believe that when a paper is leaked, it’s always an inside job. The department should re-look at its security systems in order to protect the integrity of the examinations,” said Ndlela.
The leaking of Maths Paper 2, which was written on November 16, was discovered when a university student alerted the Department of Basic Education early on Monday morning.
The department had on Wednesday confirmed that the leaked paper had reached matric pupils in eight provinces.
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga on Wednesday said the department was working with the Hawks and added that any pupil found to have cheated in this exam would be banned from writing the NSC exam for three years.
“Three years is a very long time for a young person. By the time three years pass they are completely disorientated, they have gone off the tracks.
There are very serious consequences. The penalties are just too harsh, the integrity of the exam is very important so that we protect others who were honest and wrote the paper and the integrity of the exam has to be protected,” said Motshekga.
The department plans to fast-track the investigation to ensure that the first tier of the investigation is completed by the end of this month.
The investigation seeks to establish the source and extent of the leaked paper to determine whether a rewrite is necessary.