The Department of Basic Education (DBE) has taken a decision that learners from the Vhembe school district in the Limpopo Province will rewrite the Life Sciences paper 1 and Life Sciences paper 2. This decision was taken after it was confirmed that a copy of the 2015 National Senior Certificate examination paper for Life Sciences was circulated amongst some learners before the commencement of the examination.
On the 16th November 2015, DBE received a tip off that the Life Sciences Paper 2 had leaked. The DBE was able to verify the information received and confirm that the question paper provided was in fact the official question paper. This confirmed a compromise to the question paper.
The DBE immediately established an investigation team comprising the South African Qualifications Authority, University South Africa, Umalusi and the DBE and the investigation in the province has covered much ground. A criminal investigation was also initiated, as the NSC examinations are protected through legislation. The matter has been reported to the SAPS. A case was opened at the Thoyoyondou Police Station and the CAS number is 468/11/2015.
To date the investigations have revealed the following:
(a) The leakage is confined to the five circuits in the Vhembe district and five learners in Gauteng and two learners in Mpumalanga;
(b) At this stage it appears that Life Sciences Paper 1 and Life Sciences Paper 2 were shared with the implicated learners in the Vhembe district; in the main via social media application WhatsApp.
(c) The learners in Gauteng and Mpumalanga had access to Life Sciences Paper 2 only and confined to a small number of learners who will be dealt with on an individual basis.
The Hawks have now taken over the investigation covering the three provinces implicated. The investigation is ongoing and the devices of learners in some cases have been confiscated by police for further forensic investigation.
The dates for the rewrites in Vhembe District schools are as follows:
Life Sciences Paper 1: Friday, 4 December 2015
Life Sciences Paper 2: Tuesday, 8 December 2015
These dates will be communicated with learners directly. The re-write covers the whole district, so that schools that might not have emerged during the preliminary investigations, but which are also tainted will be taken care of. A total of 15 960 full time and 1 540 part time candidates will write the Life Sciences examination.
The DBE hopes to send out a clear message to learners and schools about the consequences of such malpractices. The DBE is aware that some learners who did not cheat will have to rewrite the examinations; however this is the unfortunate consequence which is vital in maintaining the credibility of the NSC examinations in the country.
The DBE is not taking this incident lightly and hopes to send out a strong message to learners, teachers and officials that cheating in the examinations will not be tolerated. It is only through hard work and diligent study that good results will be achieved.
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SOURCE: SOUTH AFRICAN OFFICIAL NEWS