Education Minister: We have ways to detect exam cheaters

Leakage of Grade 12 examination papers to the public during the examination period every year remains a serious concern that needs to be addressed systematically, Education Minister Nick Kuman says.

He says he shares the concerns of his department, the parents, higher learning institutions, and the general public.

He said in a statement: “The perpetrators of such an insidious act are threatening the intellectual abilities and potentials of students who compete industriously in classes and schools to develop their mind comprehensively.

“Also, the cheaters are not doing justice to themselves, their competitors, their parents and the higher learning institutions that have limited intake placing.

“By now students must be mindful that this Government is investing heavily in education for achieving quality intellectual outcome and relevant life-skills for students to integrate into the societal setups.

“Cheating is a criminal act, and those with evidence should report it immediately to the standards officers in the provinces and the police where appropriate actions can be taken,’’ he said.

“The reform we have done in the education system strategized students transition process that captures each student into various learning and training institutions in order for them to excel, depending on their abilities and acumen. This means no student is left out.

“This year, I have directed my department where actions have been taken to mitigate such unethical and irresponsible practices of cheating, but it is unfortunate to know from both the mainstream and social media of reported cases.

“I would like to assure all concerned parties that the Department of Education has quality control measures in place to investigate cheating and penalize those caught cheating.

“The quality control measures already in place for a number of years now include the marking process, moderation of internal and external marks and security from starting from the writing of the exam to packing and distribution to schools.’’

Minister Kuman said through the quality control measures, the department could detect the possibility of cheating committed by any of the 23,200 grade 12 students taking their examinations this year.

The assessment and grading of the students comprises 50% of internal assessments and the final examinations make up the other 50%.

The minister says: “Both of these assessments are regarded as important because the final marks on the certificates are the end results of both assessments. All students who are sitting for the examination this year will have their final grading or results decided through the dual assessment processes.

“Also there will be quality checks made during the marking of the papers and the moderation of internal and external marks. Through these quality checks, the final grading of the Grade 12 students results will be known.

“We have the system in place to address cheating and, again I call on the public for your support to expose such practices to the relevant authorities to take appropriate actions.’’

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Press Release