Concern over lost exam papers
THE Gauteng education department will look into whether Matric pupils from four Soweto schools might have had prior knowledge of yesterday's physical sciences exam paper after a security breach.
The principal of the Phefeni Senior Secondary School in Orlando West, who was also the chief invigilator at the school, yesterday forgot to load a box with 20 exam question papers into his car when he went to pick them up from the nodal point.
Gauteng education spokesman Charles Phahlane said: "The headmaster was tasked with collecting exam papers from the local nodal point at 7am this (yesterday) morning. He appears to have put the box with exam papers on the roof of the vehicle. He drove off forgetting to put the box inside the vehicle.
"Answer papers submitted by learners at four schools within the geographic area of the loss will be quarantined to establish whether learners had prior knowledge of the paper."
Phahlane said the principal had been suspended as invigilator and replaced with his deputy. Charges against the principal regarding this incident were being formulated.
"All necessary steps have been taken to ensure the integrity of the physical science examination paper.
"The exam process remains completely intact. The Gauteng education department has informed the national Department of Basic Education of the measures and they are satisfied with the steps taken," he said.
Two weeks ago, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said security had been tightened around question papers this year.
Motshekga said at the time: "Most provinces have installed CCTV cameras, biometric access control systems and alarms at the distribution points to avoid any security breaches ..."
Motshekga also said the department would escort sealed exam papers to schools on the day the papers were due to be written.