Despite report of leaked examination papers in Limpopo and Gauteng, the Umalusi Council has approved the release of the 2016 matric examination results.
The Umalusi council, a quality assurance body appointed by the Minister of Basic Education to set and monitor standards for general education and training in South Africa, and is responsible for matric certifications, said on Thursday that it was “satisfied that the examinations were fair, valid and credible”.
“We commend the Department of Basic Education (DBE) for running a successful and credible examination process. Accordingly, we hereby approve the release of the results of the National Senior Certificate,” Umalusi council chairperson Professor John Volmink told reporters in Pretoria.
Before now, the Police, Hawks and task team have been invited to investigate the mass group copying which marred the results in KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng and Mpumalanga, and the leak of a paper at two schools in Limpopo.
In 2015, there were also leaked papers in Limpopo, which eventually spilled over into Gauteng and Mpumalanga.
“Investigations by a task team established by the minister of basic education (Angie Motshekga) to identify the source of the security breach and the extent of the spread confirmed a leakage in Mathematics Paper 2 in two schools in Limpopo,” Volmink said.
Nevertheless, the Umalusi approved the released result saying it is happy that the exams were conducted without incidents that could challenge the credibility of the results.
It commended Motshekga for her swift action in dealing with the problem, but added that the results of learners who were implicated would be withheld.
The 2016 class was the third Grade 12 cohort to write a final examination under the Curriculum Assessment Policy Statement (Caps), Volmink said as he revealed that this year’s Grade 12 saw an increase of 40 000 students who passed.
Umalusi was impressed by the improvement in the marking system by the education department.
“The class of 2016 includes 109,400 progressed learners. This is a substantial increase of 43,727 progressed learners from last year.”
“The quality of marking is a very important aspect of the integrity and credibility of the examination. It is pleasing to see the measures put into place to carefully select and train markers.” it said.
The final exams in 2014 were also marked by an unprecedented occurrence of group copying or mass cheating.