Johannesburg – Students suspected of cheating in the 2020 matrix exams are on a tough journey as education authorities have decided to keep their results.
The exams were damaged by the flow of the Mathematics 2 paper and the Physical Science 2 paper.
Professor John Volmink, chairman of the executive committee of quality assurance Umalusis, said on Monday that action would be taken against the students involved and they would not receive their results pending investigation by the Department of Basic Education (DBE).
Volmink said: Regarding the irregularities generally identified, DBE is required to block the results of candidates implicated in the irregularities, including candidates involved in group copying pending the outcome of further DBE investigations and Umalusi verification.
The department should also strengthen security at all levels to ensure that there are no more leak questions.
Most 12th graders will receive their results on February 22nd. Over one million students sat in the exams, making the 2020 class the largest group ever to write the National Senior Certificate, as Volmink said.
Umalusi announced on Monday that it had approved the release of the 2020 matrix results. The leaks were not systematic until the results of their reliability and integrity were removed, she said.
The results are credible and this statement is being made boldly looking at the processes we are following, said Umalusi chief executive Mafu Rakometsi.
The cost of implication in fraud involves alumni who have not received their results for years. They often have to go to court in their fight against the department.
In 2015, 139 students from Mashiyamahle High School in KwaZulu-Natal accused of cheating ended up in court in an attempt to force the department to release their results.
As they had written their exams in 2014, news reports indicated that they were still struggling to release their results in December 2018.
A group of 172 students from New Era College in Malamulele, Limpopo, also made their way to court in 2017. The owner of this independent school was accused of being involved in the leaking math paper.
Another group of over 60 former 12th graders implicated in a fraud scandal staged a protest in front of the East Cape Department of Education office in 2016.
This group had written the 2014 exams at the high schools around Libode, Ngqeleni and Port St Johns.
I was supposed to do my second year at university, but I sat at home doing nothing, said one of the group on the GroundUp news site in protest.
It seems likely that some of the accused fraudsters never get their results.
Cheating on exams is simply not worth it, Rakometsi said. He said even if the fraudsters got their results next week they should stay at the edge.
Should there be anything that went undetected, even in the department’s report with their further ongoing investigations, carefully review the issue, Rakometsi said.
But while things stand, my advice to students is that next week while receiving their results from the minister, they should celebrate.
If as an individual candidate you do not know that you have cheated, then do not celebrate, because we can come back to you. Wait before you celebrate, Rakometsi said.