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Citizen Reporter
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2 minute read
19 Oct 2021
10:26 am

Umalusi wants ‘incident-free’ matric exams after 2020 leaks

Citizen Reporter

This year's matric exams are scheduled to start from 27 October and will conclude on 7 December.

Children can be seen in class at the Olievenhoutbosch secondary school on their first day back at school since the beginning of the national lockdown to help prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus, 8 June 2020, Pretoria. Picture: Jacques Nelles

Quality assurance council Umalusi says it has been assured by the Department of Basic Education (DBE) that there will not be a repeat of last year’s matric exam paper leaks.

Umalusi assesses the readiness of schools in three assessment bodies; the DBE, the Independent Examination Board (IEB) and the South African Comprehensive Assessment Institute (SACAI). 

Leaks

Speaking to Power987 on Monday, Umalusi CEO Mafu Rakometsi said the regulatory body was looking forward to an “incident-free” matric exams.

“The conversation that we had with the department has been that the examinations have to be tamper proof. We [can’t] allow any form of leakage. The system has been compromised in the past.

“The department has been very active in ensuring that we don’t have an occurrence of those compromises. Even now the department has assured us that we will not have an occurrence of what has happened in the past,” he said.

Rakometsi further said that DBE employees had signed pledges to ensure that the exams were carried out without any problems.

ALSO READ: Here are the revised final matric exams dates

Last year, mathematics paper 2 and physical sciences paper 2 were leaked to pupils hours before being written.

While the Government Printing Works (GPW) was identified as the source of the leak, a 31-year-old man was arrested in connection with the matter.

Themba Daniel Shikwambana was released on R1,000 bail in December 2020.

Shikwambana worked at a Johannesburg-based company that the department had contracted to print the 2020 matric exam papers.

Exams

Meanwhile, Rakometsi also indicated that the matric exams results are expected to be released around 20 January 2022.

“We are going to be delayed again in terms of releasing the results [due to] the challenges that we continue to face because of the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.

This year’s National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations are scheduled to start from 27 October and will conclude on 7 December.

The initial dates clashed with the local government elections.

READ MORE: Matric finals to start earlier due to local elections date clash

Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma declared that elections would take place on 1 November, which clashed with three other papers: English paper 1, business studies paper 1 and non-official languages paper 1.

The changes were also made to allow eligible pupils, educators and invigilators to cast their ballots. 

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga earlier this month said more than 700,000 full-time Grade 12 pupils were set to write NSC exams across the country.

Of the 735,670 full-time candidates expected to write the exams, 128,451 part-time candidates would write their exams too.

Additional reporting by Thapelo Lekabe and Narissa Subramoney