The Democratic Alliance (DA) in the province is not surprised at the leak of the Life Science 2 question paper in the province. Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga on Tuesday during a press conference in Polokwane informed the media that a leakage of the question paper had occurred at Marude Secondary School in Vhembe.
She said an investigative task team had been established to investigate examination irregularities in Limpopo. They will be assisted by an oversight team in order to guard the integrity of question papers still to be written and to ensure that all examination processes during the next six weeks are tightly controlled and managed.
DA Provincial Leader Jacques Smalle said the party had earlier warned the department that the irregular appointment of a printing company in Limpopo may result in question papers being leaked. That because the correct procurement procedures for obtaining photocopies of question papers were not followed. Smalle also re-iterated the party’s call for Section 100 (1)(b) to be re-invoked on the Department of Education.
“It is also now clear that the recent reports were not the first she had heard of a potential crisis. Serious concerns that had the potential to compromise the credibility of the 2015 National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations in Limpopo were raised months ago.”
On 22 October Motshekga received a letter from the Council for Quality Assurance in General and Further Education and Training (Umalusi) expressing serious reservations about the state of readiness of Limpopo province to administer the 2015 National Senior Certificate examinations. They had reservations regarding the storage facility and the laissez-faire attitude of examination officials as well as the marker appointments.
The Department of Basic Education (DBE) earlier this year raised serious concerns to the Department of Education regarding the limited examination staff capacity at the head office in Polokwane, the lack of telephone lines, faxes and internet connectivity, storage and packing area that were not secure and did not meet minimum norms and standards for security required for printing, packing and distributing, the lack of capacity to monitor the examinations adequately given restrictions in kilometres, limited vehicles available and poor roadworthiness of many government vehicles.
The mark capture centre was not finished and internet connectivity was often down due to an old server, making data management a challenge. The marker appointment system and processes were not strictly compliant with the required criteria as listed and appointments were not finalised when the DBE made a state-of-readiness visit. The large number of distribution points were also a matter of concern and have since been reduced to 59.
Gavin Davis, DA Shadow Minister of Basic Education in a press release said Motshega last week, through an aide, announced that she would make a ministerial statement on the Limpopo crisis in Parliament yesterday, however, communication was received on Tuesday from the Minister’s office that no such statement will be made. “It is simply not acceptable for Minister Motshekga to renege on her commitment to address Parliament. She must be held accountable for her failure to avert the examinations crisis in Limpopo.” Davis said.
Story: NELIE ERASMUS
Photo: MEC for Education Ishmael Kgetjepe and Minister for Basic Education Angie Motshekgu.