This is the stiff warning today from Acting Education Secretary Uke Kombra.
Dr Kombra said this after reports surfaced in the daily newspapers of the Grade 12 Written Expression examination questions allegedly leaked well before the examination was conducted on Monday, August 10.
He said the department would deal out severe penalties to students and schools caught cheating during the national examinations and warned students to refrain from cheating.
“If a grade 10 or 12 student is found to have cheated, all the grade 10 or 12 students in the particular school that the student belongs to will be penalised,” warned Dr Kombra.
“You will be throwing away your whole life if you are caught cheating. I would like to encourage all students to be committed to your studies so that you are well prepared to sit the examinations,” he said.
The department was aware of security issues surrounding the printing and distribution of the national examination papers but he assured students, parents, teachers and school administrations that the department was doing everything within its power and resources to ensure that fair examinations were conducted.
“At the moment, we cannot confirm whether the questions were actually leaked to students online before they sat the exam. However, I would like to assure everyone that the department has measures in place to deal with these issues,” he said.
The Acting Secretary is also calling on parents and guardians to monitor their children to ensure that they are attending school and are also committed to their studies.
“Students who are not committed are the ones who are highly likely to cheat,” the Acting Secretary said.
He asked the students, parents and members of the public to report to the department or the police anyone suspected of selling examination questions or answers on the street.
“It is very sad to read and hear about people making money out of selling examination questions and answers.
“Education is everyone’s business therefore; each one of us has a duty to ensure that the examinations are conducted smoothly and fairly.”
Photo: Students hard at work in exams. Some around the nation will be penalized if caught cheating. Loop file photo.