Calls For Schools to Ban Phones Following Matric Exam Cheating

LOCAL NEWS

By Stagg Reporter

POLOKWANE-After hundreds of matric candidates were involved in an alleged cheating scandal in Mpumalanga there have been calls for schools to ban the use of cell phones by learners on the school premises.

After the matric exams came to end reports were released alleging that around 370 matric candidates from three schools in the Mpumalanga province were part of a WhatsApp group chat where exam answers were shared.

It is reported that these matric candidates allegedly paid teachers up to R1500 to join WhatsApp group chats where answers were posted by teachers and access answers during toilet breaks while the examinations were in session.

The National Association of School Governing Bodies (NASGB) are calling for strict no cellphone policies to be implemented at schools.

The NASGB’s National Secretary, Matakanye Matakanye says the organisation condemns this behaviour and has called on authorities to ensure that this incident is investigated.

“The NASGB has been championing for years that cellphones should be banned from being taken to schools.” said Matakanye.

He says that the NASGB has instructed school governing bodies to form policies that will ensure that no cellphones are taken to school and that learners may only use their cellphones for research purposes at home under the supervision of their parents.

Reports also alleged that more than one thousand matric candidates, teachers and invigilators across six provinces were involved in cheating during this exam period.

The Department of Basic Education (DBE) has confirmed that it has begun a thorough investigation into the allegations of exam cheating.

Teachers and invigilators are alleged to have given learners answers to questions during the exam sessions and passed notes to learners on their way to and from the bathroom during the exam sessions.

Matakanye says that though these incidents of cheating remain allegations the NASGB believes authorities must investigate the matter urgently to find out who the culprits are.

The NASGB is concerned that all matric learners will be negatively impacted by these allegations if they are true as the Quality Council for General and Further Education and Training In South Africa (Umalusi) uses its quality assurance mechanisms to investigate the integrity and credibility of the National Senior Certificate.

Umalusi awaits the outcome from the DBE’s report into the exam cheating before it will make any comments on the matter.

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