Mozambique: Suspected Academic Fraud Leads to Exam Postponement

Maputo — Suspected academic fraud led on Monday to the postponement of the 12th grade physics exam in all secondary schools in Maputo city.

The pupils affected failed the exam the first time they took it, but the system allows them to resit the subject and thus complete 12th grade.

One puzzled student, cited in the independent daily "O Pais" said "our physics exam was cancelled without any explanation, We were practically expelled from the exam room".

The school director appeared, and ordered that the envelope containing the exam papers should not be opened.

Annoyed at the sudden cancellation of the exam, some students from the Josina Machel Secondary School, the largest secondary school in the country, walked to the nearby Ministry of Education to demand an explanation.

But the Ministry's General Inspector, Abel Assige, assured them that the problem affected all secondary schools in the city. He said the exam had been postponed "because it was suspected that some pupils had advance access to the exam paper".

He said indications of cheating had been found. During a pre-exam inspection, a student at the Josina Machel school was found with the answers to the exam. The school director declined to make any comment on the matter.

The spokesperson for the Ministry of Education, Manuel Simbine, said the exam has been rescheduled for Thursday morning in all Maputo schools.

Inspectors were working elsewhere in the country, he said, and if they came across signs of cheating in other provinces , the exam would be cancelled and rescheduled there as well.

"The inspectors are attentive and we are awaiting information from them", said Simbine. "Pupils should be proud to sit an exam which hasn't circulated beforehand".

He urged pupils, parents and guardians not to become involved in academic fraud, and to denounce any anomalies to the education authorities.

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