Learners with leaked papers allowed to write matric

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Pretoria - Two learners who were found in possession of matric question papers will be allowed to sit for the matric examination.

Spokesperson for Mpumalanga Education Department Jasper Zwane said on Tuesday that the two learners would be allowed to sit for the exams unless an investigation found that they were guilty.

"Until they are found guilty, they will be allowed to write the exams, but if found guilty, they'll be a sanction," Zwane told BuaNews.

The two learners and a teacher at Trinity College, Milton Msimango, are currently out on bail following their arrest last week, after being found in possession of the Mathematics Paper 1 and 2, Physical Science Paper 1 and 2 as well as an Accounting Paper. The case was postponed to 13 November 2009.

On Monday, the National Education Department sent a team of authorities to Mpumalanga to assess the situation following the leak of the question papers and also look at the provincial system that was being used and how to strengthen it.

"The Minister [Angie Motshekga] is very concerned about the leak in Mpumalanga, we've thought that we've addressed such issues following the hiccups last year," said the department's spokesperson Dr Granville Whittle.

Dr Whittle told BuaNews that the team will stay in the province for the duration of the exams to oversee the process and ensure that similar incidence does not happen again.

He warned that any department official found to be linked to the leaking of the exam papers, would be dismissed.

"It's a huge offence, but at the moment, no officials have been implicated, the papers were leaked from the school."

Meanwhile, the department said the start of the matric exams on Monday went off without any hassles. The only glitch was a Mpumalanga learner who had come to write without having properly registered.

Dr Whittle said an investigation will be launched to find out what exactly happened. "The student was not allowed to write, but we will have to investigate whether the mistake was on our side or not because he said he had registered," Whittle said.

Almost 37 000 learners sat for the first papers of Electronic Technology and German, Portuguese, Hebrew, first and second additional languages, on Monday.

The second session included Hindi, Gujarati, Urdu, Tamil, Telegu, Arabic, French, Italian, Spanish, first and second additional languages as well as a two and half hour Latin paper.

A total of 581 573 full time candidates and 38 595 repeat candidates will write 197 papers that will be marked by more than 30 000 markers during the exams.