More needs to be done to stop errors in matric exam papers: Expert

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Education expert Professor Nicky Roberts says while latest report by education quality assurance body Umalusi has shown how robust its systems are, more needs to be done with regards to setting of exam papers.

Umalusi approved the release of the matric examination results during a press conference in Pretoria earlier today. The body highlighted concerns on fraudulent certificates, group copying and printing quality. Roberts says the issue of serious errors in several question papers should not be happening.

“Firstly, we should not be having these kinds of errors. From the system perspective, I think it does mean that we need to be more rigorous in our quality assurance processes which start from examining bodies and there are four of them, very carefully going through exactly what is needed and then the checks that follow internally in the particular body, DBE is the most significant one as well as Umalusi checks as they go along.”

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Meanwhile, Umalusi says 11 suspects have been arrested in different parts of the country for their alleged involvement in the selling of fake certificates.

CEO of Umalusi Dr Mafu Rakometsi says they will continue to work closely with police as the investigate the matter.

“Since the State of Readiness Media Briefing held on 13 October 2023 during which we, amongst others, informed the public about the safeguards implemented to ensure the authenticity and credibility of Umalusi certificates, eleven suspects have been arrested by the South African Police Services on different dates. The first two suspects were arrested in Burgersfort in Limpopo in December 2023. One suspect was arrested in Pretoria in November, the next three were arrested on 20 November, and the last five were nabbed again in Burgersfort in Limpopo. On the other hand, the Hawks arrested an employee of the 11 December 2023. The suspect is a Department of Higher Education employee, fraudulently issuing a diploma certificate for cash, he has been charged with corruption and his court case has been postponed to 19 January 2024.”