Matric cheating exposed: Daily Dispatch

Group copying scandal delays results in some centres

MATRIC pupils in the Eastern Cape and KwaZuluNatal implicated in a cheating scandal may have to wait months before knowing their fate.

Regulatory body Umalusi yesterday announced that an investigation by the national Department of Basic Education (DBE) had uncovered “group copying” at 58 centres in the two provinces.

In response, the body said it could not endorse the release of results from these centres.

In the Eastern Cape, 42 centres were identified in the investigation but only 19 were implicated in the cheating scandal. In KZN, 74 centres were investigated and 39 implicated. The Eastern Cape has 924 exam centres and KZN 1 741.

Umalusi council chairman Professor John Volmink yesterday said: “Umalusi is very concerned about this trend and takes the view that strong action be taken against those learners and supervisors who have made themselves guilty of these acts of dishonesty. Umalusi will therefore not approve the release of the results of these centres.”

The implicated 2% of the centres will have to wait until the investigation is complete in March.

“In the view of Umalusi, this number does not compromise the integrity of the examination as a whole in these provinces or indeed in the country,” said Volmink.

“We are satisfied that the examinations were fair, valid and credible. We commend DBE for running a successful and credible examinations process.”

Provincial education spokesman Loyiso Pulumani said the department had noted the report.

“For now we are of the view that it would be inopportune to respond. This is an Umalusi report and it is only proper that we refer all queries on the matter to Umalusi.”

DA education spokesman Edmund Van Vuuren said the scandal pointed at invigilators, teachers and those who were supposed to monitor the invigilators.

“It is sad for those who studied and prepared, and now will not be able to get their results.”

In contrast, pupils at four independent schools in the Eastern Cape chalked up numerous distinctions in the Independent Examinations Board (IEB) exams.

Matrics at East London independent school Merrifield College, as well as Grahamstown’s Kingswood College, St Andrews College, and Diocesan School for Girls in Grahamstown have excelled.

Some 9 976 candidates countrywide sat for the IEB exams.

DSG’s Mary Gouws was the one of the province’s top scorers with eight distinctions. She is one of just 69 IEB candidates in the top 5% in six or more subjects. Two other DSG girls, Samantha Hops from Plettenberg Bay and Kelly Long from Adelaide, achieved six distinctions while Georgina Bennett, Emma Dreyer, Ashley Farrington, Samantha Jelley, Jessica MacRobert, Ashlee Rosslee, Phillipa Stanley, Leila Strelitz, Emma Urquhart, Anke van der Sijde, Katrina van Hasselt and Anika Vohora each achieved five distinctions.

The 68 DSG girls between them chalked up 187 subject distinctions and 158 subject B symbols, which means that 70% of symbols obtained were a B or higher, said the school.

Merrifield pupil Ian Olivier is also in the IEB top 5% with distinctions in all seven subjects he wrote and in the top 1% nationally for six of his seven subjects.

In a class of 29 pupils, 72% have university passes, with 30% of the subject results being over 80%. Some 21% of the pupils achieved overall averages of over 80%.

Leading the Kingswood pack is its 2014 headboy, Fanie van der Westhuyzen from Adelaide with seven distinctions. Sharing top spot with Fanie is Ella Wilby from Grahamstown, also with seven distinctions.

She did all this while carrying an extra subject to extend the range of her studies. Deputy headboy Marco Lombard also achieved seven distinctions and 2014 headgirl Celeste du Toit six.

St Andrew’s pupil James Lake, from Stellenbosch, achieved seven distinctions while Jonathan Jayes and Matthew Kroon from Grahamstown and Robert Ball and James Holmes from Johannesburg each achieved six distinctions.