Umalusi report reveals need to improve exam paper setting: Roberts

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Education expert, Professor Nicky Roberts, says the education quality assurance body Umalusi’s latest report, has shown that more needs to be done regarding the setting of exam papers.

At a media briefing in Pretoria on Monday Umalusi pronounced its assessment of the 2023 results. Both private and public education bodies, such as the Basic Education and Higher Education departments were reviewed.

Over 1 million National Senior Certificate candidates sat for the 2023 exams.

Roberts says the issue of errors in several question papers is a serious concern.

“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.”

Meanwhile, Umalusi says it will continue to work with police as they investigate the sale of fake matric certificates. 11 suspects have been arrested in different parts of the country.

CEO of Umalusi, Dr Mafu Rakometsi says, “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 Service on different dates.

“The first 2 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 on 11 December 2023. The suspect from the Department of Higher Education fraudulently issued a diploma certificate for cash and has been charged with corruption and his court case has been postponed to 19 January 2024.”