The National- Tuesday, January 18, 2011
By DULCIE OREKE
THE Department of Education is carrying out investigation to establish the sources of examination security breakdown which may have resulted in the “unanimity” of the answers in the examinations in three subjects.
“Officers and teachers found to be involved may be disciplined and charged depending on the findings of the investigation,” acting education secretary Dr Joseph Pagelio said.
In response to media reports alleging cheating in 2010 Grade 12 national exams by certain head teachers, teacher involved in the marking the examinations and parents, Pagelio in a statement gave background information about the administration of the examinations.
He said 440 markers were selected by the measurement services branch to mark the 2010 Grade 12 examinations answer scripts for more than 13,000 students.
The subjects were language and literature, mathematics A and mathematics B, biology, chemistry, physics, economics, geography and history.
Pagelio said markers detected synonymous answers in a number of answer scripts in biology and chemistry in three schools (schools A, B and C) and physics in one school (school D).
And the markers stopped marking, alleging that all students in those schools cheated in these subjects.
He said marking later done in the same week allowed to be completed for data entry and statistical analysis to be carried out to confirm the allegations.
“After the data entry, item analysis did not indicate a significant difference to say that every student in each of the school had the same exact responses to each question.
“A small group of students may have cheated as their answers tend to be similar. Due to time constraints for selections and certification, all results were processed as normal.”
Pagelio said that the results, if ever inflated, would only affect either, biology, chemistry or physics adding that a high grade in just one of these subjects was not possible for university entry as equally good results in other subjects including language and literature and mathematics were “prerequisites”.