The department of basic education has taken drastic measures in response to the leak of two matric exam papers, declaring that the maths paper 2 and physical science paper 2 will have to be rewritten.
This is the first time a nationwide matric rewrite has been conducted in SA.
“The Council of Education Ministers (CEM) convened a special meeting on Tuesday (December 3) morning to consider the recommendations of the National Examinations Irregularities Committee (NEIC),” said basic education minister Angie Motshekga.
According to the NEIC findings, because the leaked papers were shared over the internet it was “virtually impossible” to determine how many pupils had access to them prior to writing the exam.
Motshekga said that it was vital that the integrity of the exams be protected.
“We consulted key stakeholders on the matter; from school governing body associations, school principals associations, teacher unions and the quality assurance agency Umalusi.
“There was convergence on the need to protect the integrity of the examination and to expose the culprits,” she said.
On Tuesday, December 1, it was reported that an employee at a company contracted to print the exam papers had been arrested in connection with the leak.
The department’s announcement has been met with heavy criticism.
South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu) general secretary Mugwena Maluleke said the decision was “unfair” and left many pupils and teachers frustrated.
“It undermines the work of our teachers and learners who worked under difficult circumstances due to Covid-19. Learners are being punished for something that is not of their making, as only a few saw the paper,” he said.
Sadtu is considering seeking a court interdict against the department.