Cheating pupils, leaked papers among Gauteng matric exam challenges

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The Gauteng education department has had its fair share of challenges when it comes to the National Senior Certificate matric examinations.

Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi, while updating the media on the online placement of grade 1 and grade 8 pupils, said two candidates were found with cellphones and another three with crib notes while the exam was in session, and one even tried to use his mask to cheat.

“The main examination for all candidates started without any hindrances and a total of 239,143 candidates have enrolled for the 2020 examinations.

“Like other provinces, we were hit by three exam paper leaks but the minister of basic education Angie Motshekga has engaged with the Hawks to track where the leaks were coming from. We urge members of our society to provide information that will assist us to know who is behind the leaks. The credibility of the exams is still intact. We will await the minister to decide whether the papers will be re-written,” he said.

He said the province was deeply saddened by the loss of two pupils in Gauteng’s east and west districts who committed suicide because of anxiety related to the exams.

“We also had four candidates who tested positive for Covid-19 who were transferred to Nasrec field hospital and allowed to write their examinations under controlled conditions. One learner was unfortunately admitted to the hospital. We are feeling the impact of Covid-19 in our education sector and we have since lost 30 educators and seven administration employees due to Covid-19-related illnesses,” Lesufi said.