The National- Friday, January 14, 2011
SOME schools out of desperation to send students to tertiary institutions are resorting to cheating in the Grade 12 Higher School Certificate examinations.
This is what exactly happened last year.
Schools caught in this act must be punished to deter such from happening future.
The number of secondary schools each year is increasing as more high schools are upgraded to secondary schools status, meaning there are more students doing Grade 12 than ever before.
Last year the number of schools taking part in the HSC examinations was 101.
On the other hand, the number of spaces in the tertiary institutions is not adequate and cannot cater for the enrolment of everyone that is completing his/her Grade 12 at the end of each year.
Students who are lucky to have been selected for enrolment in institutions are those that perform very well in the examination and score very good grades and thus meeting the requirements of the institutions that they apply for.
At the end of each year names of students selected for further studies in institutions are published in the newspapers with their schools printed beside their name. It basically informs the public which schools have done well in the examinations.
In the past five year schools and provinces have been faced with a dilemma; that is the struggle and the uphill battle to send their student to tertiary institutions because of the stiff competition for limited places.
This scenario creates a situation where the safety of the Grade 12 examination papers is paramount. Examination papers can fall into the wrong hands of desperate people for the purpose of cheating.
Money can be used to bribe people to access these very important papers.
The body which is responsible for the writing and safety of the examination papers is the measurement and standard unit of the Education Department. However, it has failed to protect the papers because there was evidence of cheating.
Answers written by students of some schools were exact copies of the markers’ answers in the marking process. About 140 teachers involved in the marking process were aware of this and it was brought to the attention of MSU and chief markers.
Assurance was given that appropriate action would be taken because there had been similar cases in the past.
The question is whether MSU has taken appropriate action.
After reading in the newspapers that a secondary school in Enga made history by scoring 143 As in the national examinations I gathered that it was one of the schools implicated for cheating. It is apparent that the MSU had not taken any action to confirm these cheating claims and punish the schools concerned.
Grade 12 teacher