14 November 2012

Namibia: Ministry's Exam Probe Continues

EDUCATION Minister Abraham Iyambo says measures are in place at the marking of Grade 12 examination scripts to detect any candidate who could have been in possession of stolen exam papers.

Iyambo announced the preliminary results of the ministry's investigation at Katima Mulilo on Monday, one month after 21 pupils were arrested in the Caprivi Region for allegedly being in possession of stolen papers.

The Namibian was reliably informed last week that the ministry had informed national exam markers in Windhoek to closely scrutinise the answer sheets of all candidates to determine the extent of the leak.

Iyambo said the preliminary findings indicated that Caprivi was the only region affected by the leak.

Iyambo told The Namibian yesterday that markers were not ordered but just advised to be on the lookout for suspicious answer sheets and to direct them to management.

According to the minister, the results of any pupil suspected of having been in possession of stolen papers will be put on hold until the completion of the investigation.

Iyambo also announced that he had commissioned an independent external audit of the Directorate of National Examinations and Assessment.

A source privy to the inner happenings at the directorate told The Namibian recently 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.

Iyambo said 23 of the 1 061 Grade 12 pupils from the Caprivi Region region were involved. Nationwide, 41 891 pupils registered for this year's Grade 12 examinations.

The subjects that were leaked are English, Development Studies, Biology, History, Agriculture and Business Studies.

According to Iyambo, the leak did not affect Grade 10 and Grade 12 higher level subjects.

The exam results of those found guilty will be nullified and they will not be allowed to sit for the national examinations for another year.

Iyambo said the candidates would have the right to appeal within 14 days after their written notification.

The implicated schools are Mayuni Secondary, Sikosinyana Secondary, Caprivi Secondary, Kizito Secondary and Sanjo Secondary, all in the Caprivi Region.

An adult was arrested and charged with selling the papers to the students. 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.

Iyambo also announced that the Grade 10 and Grade 12 Higher Level national examination results will be released on December 21.

The Grade 12 Ordinary Level results will be released by January 18.

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