Matric maths and science papers to be rewritten

Matthew Savides Night news editor
Basic education minister Angie Motshekga confirmed that two matric papers will be rewritten after leaks.
Basic education minister Angie Motshekga confirmed that two matric papers will be rewritten after leaks.
Image: Freddy Mavunda

The matric mathematics paper 2 and physical sciences paper 2 are to be rewritten across SA.

This is according to a statement from basic education minister Angie Motshekga, released ahead of a media briefing on Friday afternoon.

“The CEM [Council of Education Ministers] decided a national rewrite of both mathematics paper 2 and physical sciences paper 2 is necessary. Mathematics paper 2 will be written on December 15 at 2pm, and physical sciences paper 2 will be written on December 17 at 9am.

“It was not an easy decision to take but one which is necessary under the circumstances. We need to work hard to deal with the human factor in the examination system,” said Motshegka.

She said the “viral spread of information on cyber networks made it virtually impossible to accurately identify the number of pupils who have had access to the leaked question papers”.

After stakeholders were consulted, there was “convergence on the need to protect the integrity of the examination and to expose the culprits who place the lives of our pupils at risk”.

“The National Senior Certificate (NSC) is the flagship qualification relating to schooling. Credibility of the NSC examination is of paramount importance. Any lingering doubt relating to the credibility of the NSC examinations must be thoroughly investigated and addressed,” Motshekga said.

“Avoiding prior access to the question paper is what all security measures are directed towards.”

Motshekga said this was the first time the country had ever done a national rewrite.

Basic education department chief director of examination, Rufus Poliah, said the department had confirmed 195 pupils received the mathematics paper, but there was no way to know how widely it had been spread from there.

Motshekga said: “It is clear the people responsible for leaking the question papers are adults. CEM appreciates the work being done by the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations, the Hawks. We welcome the arrest that has been made and we hope more arrests will follow. We need to send a strong message that tampering with national examination is a serious offence.”

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