Over 30 Mpumalanga teachers removed from grade 12 examination marking processes

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More than 30 Mpumalanga teachers are aggrieved after the Education Department removed them from the grade 12 examination marking processes.

They were issued with letters revoking their appointments as markers after some learners were allegedly found in possession of crib notes during an examination in the Bushbuckridge area.

A few days before the start of the grade 12 examination in October, the Education Department in Mpumalanga warned that there is a need to be extra vigilant during this year’s grade12 exams.

This was because for the first time in the province, more than 71 500 candidates registered to write the matric examinations. The department also applauded itself for administering incident free examinations for the past twelve years. However, they have now been dealt a heavy blow.

Some pupils were found in possession of crib notes during the examination in several schools in the Bushbuckridge area.

Chairperson of the Mdluli Seconday School Governing Body, Petros Sibuyi says they are not happy with the manner in which the matter is being handled by the Education Department.

“We did a follow-up and found that some of the things were found on their bodies and we are not happy about that. The kids were taken with the principal for further assessment. When they were there- the one who was checking the kids was not present there.”

Cheating scandal

This has led the Education Department to revoke appointments of the teachers who were selected to participate in the marking process.

Apparently, some of them are accused of being involved in the cheating scandal. But the South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) believes that its members are innocent.

Sadtu’s Secretary in Mpumalanga, Walter Hlaise elaborates, “And we just saw the reports on media over the weekend that alleged that there is a wider web of teachers and learners who are in this network of cheating during examinations. We made representations on behalf of our members that hey should continue to mark because as far as we know for now none of them are implicated in this matter. But the department said to us they have launched an investigation in this matter and therefore all teachers in the areas are prevented from going to mark.”

Some of the teachers in question claim that they were not consulted before their appointments were revoked.

Hlaise says they could take legal actions against the department at a later stage.

“There are serious allegations and we think that if anybody who is involved there should be consequences. It is our believe that none of our members are involved. It would be unfair really for them to be accused of such thing when they have not done anything. We would see what steps we take at the time.”

Attempts to get a comment from the Department of Basic Education were unsuccessful.