THE examination leak of the Grade 10 and 12 final exams is bigger than it seems. The Namibian has been informed that the papers for four subjects – Development Studies, Biology, English and Agriculture Â– were stolen, and not only two as was reported previously.
And as the plot thickens around the theft of the papers another allegation surfaced yesterday that theft of confidential information at the Directorate of National Examinations and Assessment is commonplace.
A source privy to the inner happenings at the directorate told The Namibian that the theft of examination papers was nothing new.
According to the source there were previous instances of examination paper theft, but these were not reported to the police.
The Director of National Examinations and Assessment, Calvin Nyambe, refused to comment on allegations of theft at the directorate.
"I'm not going to say anything. The minister gave out a statement on Sunday. I work on the directive of the minister," Nyambe said.
"The minister said in his statement that he will inform the nation – who am I to comment. He will tell the people," he added.
The unnamed source said: "Stealing at the national examination [centre] is high. Air-conditioners, cellphones ... people know but nothing is done."
Previous alleged unaccounted for thefts at the exam centre included six cellphones used for marking sessions, seven printer cartridges and air-conditioners.
Some sources are of the opinion that security measures at the examinations directorate should be investigated to determine to root of the leaks.
About 21 pupils have been arrested in the Caprivi Region for allegedly being in possession of stolen examination papers.
The suspects have appeared in the Katima Mulilo Magistrate's Court. Some pupils were released on warning while investigations continue.
The adult, who is accused of having sold the papers to the students, was not granted bail. The suspect, who is the private secretary of regional police commander Bollen Sankwasa, is to return to court on Monday.
The suspect is a former employee of the Directorate of National Examinations and Assessments, where she was responsible for typing question papers and marking answer sheets.
It has not been established whether other regions besides Caprivi also received the leaked papers. The police said a national investigation into the theft would be launched, because the papers could have been distributed nationwide.
Meanwhile, the reports of examination paper leaks have caused doubt and pessimism among students who are currently writing the exams.
A Grade 12 student at St Paul's College in Windhoek said there has been "some concern" that they would probably have to rewrite their examinations "thanks to the children who stole the papers".
"Should we need to rewrite, it will compromise all of our futures as we have been accepted to universities and want to further our education. We do not deserve to be punished for someone else's actions.
"It is unfair to put us through this stress again, we want to become adults and contribute to the Namibian economy, not have to remain students and rewrite examinations just because some children in other parts of the country do not understand discipline," said the disappointed student.