THE Ministry of Education is to interview 278 students who sat for last year's Grade 12 examination in the Caprivi Region in connection with the theft of examination papers.
The Namibian is reliably informed that interviews will start today. The deputy minister of education, David Namwandi, yesterday said he would make an announcement on Wednesday.
The director responsible for National Examinations and Assessment, Cavin Nyambe, also confirmed that the investigation results would be announced by the minister.
The news of the investigation comes a few days before the release of last year's Grade 12 ordinary level results on January 18.
At the end of last year, Education Minister Abraham Iyambo ordered markers of Grade 12 examination scripts to be on the lookout for candidates who might have been in possession of stolen exam papers.
A parent yesterday said they were concerned that top-performing pupils might be victimised because of their success in the exams.
"They are putting fear in our children and should stop this before we consider seeking legal assistance," said the parent.
Nyambe scoffed at such accusations from parents, saying: "I did not tell them [students] to copy. Or did they send their children to copy? I'm just doing my job. Let's wait for the investigation results."
Twenty-three Grade 12 pupils from the Caprivi Region were implicated in the theft of exam papers last year. The subjects whose papers were leaked were English, Development Studies, Biology, History, Agriculture and Business Studies on ordinary level.
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.
The leak did not affect Grade 10 and Grade 12 higher level subjects.
The education minister previously said the exam results of those found guilty would be nullified and they would not be allowed to sit for national examinations for another year.
Media reports alleged that the pupils bought examination papers for N$500 apiece.
A similar scandal rocked the education sector in 2002 and a school principal was sent to jail for selling examination papers to students.