Gauteng Education working extra hard to ensure no matric paper leaks

The Gauteng Department of Education is working hard to avoid having any matric exam papers leaked in the province, it has said.

This week, the Department of Basic Education announced that the Maths Paper Two exam had been leaked in Giyani, Limpopo.

Last year, a Life Science Paper leak spread across Limpopo, Gauteng, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal.

Responding to questions from on what the department was doing to ensure it’s not entangled in another cheating scandal, as was the case last year, spokesperson Oupa Bodibe said the department has implemented strict security measures in the printing, packaging, storage and distribution of question papers in a bid to eliminate all possible risks that might lead to potential leaks.

“These measures are applied at different levels at head office, districts and schools. The timeframes for the storage of question papers is regulated at these different levels. All the above areas were audited for their eligibility to store exam materials. Electronic devices are barred from any examination room where the examination material is stored,” Bodibe said.

Bodibe further explained that there is constant and vigilant monitoring of all these points by the province and district.  Any location found wanting is immediately relieved of its approval to serve as a storage point. Monitoring starts as early as 5am on a daily basis and also during the exam. Reports are submitted regularly. In the event of any breach, a telephone report is provided, followed by a written report on a later stage.

This method was used to contain last year’s leak.

So far, Gauteng hasn’t had any reported matric exam paper leaks. In the meantime, the national department is conducting investigations on the allegations of the reported leakage in Limpopo and the extent to which this has spread.

What happens when a leak is exposed

Bodibe explained the process involved in investigating exam paper leaks, seeing as it is a criminal offense.

“Any allegations related to a leakage are reported to both the Hawks and the SAPS for investigation and criminal charges are preferred. The regulations also mandate the department to conduct its own disciplinary processes which upon evidence may lead to disciplinary measures or immediate dismissal instituted against the culprit,” he said.

The province has established structures; the Provincial Examination Irregularities Committee (PEIC) is responsible for investigating examination-related cases. This structure works in collaboration with the National Examinations Irregularities Committee (NEIC), where the actions taken against any offenders are ratified.


Join the conversation