Police to join probe into matric exam paper leak in Limpopo

Police to join probe into matric exam paper leak in Limpopo

The Life Science final examination paper was leaked in Limpopo shortly before pupils sat to write the exam, the Department of Basic Education (DBE) said on Tuesday.

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The department said the police and the State Security Agency (SSA) would be brought on board to assist with investigations and bringing the culprits to book.

The department said it had also set up a task team to investigate the circumstances around the leak.

Initial investigations have revealed that two pupils from Marude Secondary near Thohoyandou unlawfully got hold of the examination paper and shared it with friends ahead of examination.

The department said in a statement: “At about 6am on Monday morning (16th November 2015) we received a tip-off as DBE that the Life Sciences Paper 2 had been leaked”.

The DBE said it was able to verify the information received and confirm that the question paper provided at least an hour before the examination could commence was in fact the official question paper.

DBE said it had also established an oversight team to guard the integrity of the remaining question papers that are still to be written.

Addressing journalists at a media briefing in Polokwane on Monday, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said the department was disappointed and upset that a paper had been leaked during the National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations.

Motshekga said that depending on the outcome of the investigations, pupils at the affected schools could be asked to rewrite the exam, pupils in the district could be asked to rewrite the exam or pupils across the province could be asked to rewrite the exam.

Motshekga said the suspected pupils involved in the leaking of the paper were still writing their examinations as they were regarded innocent until proven guilty.

Motshekga said before the leakages occurred, her department and Umalusi had registered their concerns with provincial education management because they had discovered that there were serious security flaws.

“Serious concerns that had the potential to compromise the credibility of the 2015 NSC examination were highlighted and there was a commitment by the PED to attend to these shortcomings,” said Motshekga.

She added that some of their concerns included the limited examination staff capacity at the head office in Polokwane.

“The examination offices in Polokwane did not have telephone lines, fax lines and no internet connectivity. Officials were using their private cell phones and private 3G connectivity,” she said. “The lack of basic resources has been a persistent challenge.”

Motshekga also noted how the storage and packing area at the provincial department’s new premises were not secure and did meet the minimum security norms and standards required for printing, packing and distribution sites. - ANA

(File photo: Gallo Images)

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