No matric exam paper leaks recorded in 2022, says Umalusi

There has been no matric exam paper leaks in 2022 and the recorded irregularities were not systemic but either group- or individual-based, the Council for Quality Assurance in General and Further Education and Training (Umalusi) announced on Monday, as it approved the release of the national examinations results.

The Department of Basic Education (DBE) will release the National Senior Certificate (NSC) results on Thursday. Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga will announce the results at 6pm and they will be available from Friday. All the candidate can collect the statements of results at the centre where they wrote the exams.

CEO Dr Mafu Rakometsi said the quality assurance body remains seriously concerned about the reported cases of irregularities during the writing of the examinations.

“According to the reports received from different assessment bodies, different forms of cheating were uncovered in some centres during the examinations,” he said.

“These include candidates found in possession of crib notes and/or cellphones, sharing of answers via WhatsApp groups, imposters were found in the examination rooms, some answer scripts had different handwritings, etc.”

Rakometsi added that the irregularities happened across the country, highlighting the WhatsApp group cheating scandal as a new phenomenon.

Based on the magnitude of the offences, different sanctions have been meted out against the candidates involved, such as the nullification of the results, and barring the candidates from writing the examination for either one or two examination cycles.

Rakometsi said in cases in which the investigations are still ongoing, the results of the candidates will be blocked.

Presenting his approval statement for the examinations results, Umalusi chairperson, professor Yunus Ballim, told the media on Monday that the quality assurance body is satisfied that the examinations complied with policies and regulations.

“The irregularities identified during the writing and marking of the examinations were not systematic and therefore did not compromise the overall credibility of and integrity of the November 2022 NSC,” said Ballim.

“In respect of identified irregularities, the DBE is required to block the results of all candidates implicated in irregularities including the candidates who are implicated in the alleged acts of dishonesty pending the outcome of the DBE investigations and verification by Umalusi. Particular attention should be paid to recurring matters of non-compliance.”

Regarding the contentious unsolvable question in the Maths paper two examination, Ballim said the panel’s investigation found that the error in question 5.1 occurred in the editing and typesetting stage.

“The error in Mathematics paper two November 2022 occurred at the last step in the chain of internal and external moderation, and language editing and typesetting processes.

“Therefore, no marks were allocated to question 5.1 [seven marks], thereby reducing the total of 150 marks by seven marks to 143. All candidates were marked out of a total of 143 marks and the marks achieved were converted to a mark out of 150 marks,” said Ballim.

Rakometsi said Umalusi and the department take full responsibility for the error in the Maths paper.

Umalusi made pronouncements on the outcome of the assessments of the NSC assessed by the DBE, Independent Examinations Board (IEB) and the South African Comprehensive Assessment Institute (Sacai), as well as National Certificate Vocational (NCV: L2-L4) and Nated Report 190/191 (N2-N3) assessed by the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET), and the General Education and Training Certificate: Adult Basic Education and Training (GETC: ABET) – assessed by the DHET, IEB and Sacai.

The exams were written by a total of 1 222 652 candidates, registered for the four qualifications across four assessment bodies.

“Of this total, the NSC accounts for 940 366 candidates and is followed by the NC(V) with 166 184 candidates. The balance is accounted for by candidates who wrote the Nated (N2-N3) and GETC examinations,” said Rakometsi.

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