Angie Motshekga is still waiting on the results of the investigation into matric leaks last year.
The lengthy time it took to complete a forensic investigation into the cellphones of students involved in last year's matric exam leaks contributed to the delay in completing a report on the incident.
In response to a request for a copy of the report by the Portfolio Committee on Basic Education of the House of Commons, the Department of Basic Education recently informed the committee.
In an update to the committee, Motshekga stated that she will submit the report to them after she has "engaged with and signed off" on it, which she described as "engaged and signed off."
The information will almost certainly be made public before the end of this year, however.
Mbinqo-Gigaba, the chair of the portfolio committee, confirmed to TimesLIVE that the report will not be considered by the committee this year due to the committee's "very packed" schedule.
It was discovered that some students had received the mathematics paper 2 and physical science paper 2 via WhatsApp before they were able to write the two exams last year.
Rufus Poliah, the department's chief director for public exams and assessments, said that for the first time this year, students were required to record the details of their cellphone in an electronic devices register during a briefing to parliament on matric exam readiness on Tuesday.
According to the researchers, "We felt this was necessary because one of the weaknesses we discovered during our investigation last year was that it was difficult to get the devices in because it had to be a voluntary submission."
He stated that a number of students did not submit their "primary" device, but instead submitted a second cellphone or a phone with all of the information deleted from it.
"We reasoned that registering these electronic devices would give us some measure of control over the management of these electronic devices."
Poliah went on to explain the other security measures in place for the exams, including the requirement that a senior departmental official be present whenever question papers are printed.
"We were able to draw lessons from our previous experiences."
He stated that they requested that all employees, including outsiders and those appointed by the department, be subjected to a background check.
Therefore, no official or outsider representing a service provider will be allowed to enter a printing facility or distribution site unless they have been thoroughly vetted." We've put in additional safeguards to ensure that the problems that caused the leaks last year don't happen again."
In the event that a cellphone rings or a student is found in possession of a cellphone, Poliah stated that the incident will be considered an irregularity and the results will be nullified.
Meanwhile, ANC MP Walter Letsie testified in parliament that invigilators catch the vast majority of students cheating inside the examination room.
The following is an imploration: Please make every effort to apprehend them before they enter the classroom. Whether our laws permit it or not, I'd like to conduct a thorough search of these students as they enter the exam room in order to eliminate the possibility that they will attempt to cheat."
However, the CEO of Umalusi, Mafu Rakometsi, claims that body searches are prohibited by the constitution because they constitute an invasion of privacy.
Hugh Amoore, the chair of the national investigation task team, revealed in February that the investigation had discovered that the leak of the two papers had originated from two different sources: first, an employee of a company contracted to print matric exams, and second, a member of the Government Printing Office.
He stated that the investigation into the leaked maths paper 2 revealed that a total of 235 matric students were members of WhatsApp chat groups where questions from the exam — or the entire exam itself — were shared with one another.
For example, in the case of physical science paper 2, the exam or portions of the exam were assigned to groups of only 62 students. However, he cautioned that there was no guarantee that the papers would not be shared with other students.
Themba Daniel Shikwambana, 31, appeared in the Johannesburg magistrate's court in January following his arrest by the Hawks in November last year for the alleged theft of the 2020 maths paper 2. Shikwambana was charged with theft of the 2020 maths paper 2.
He worked for a Johannesburg-based company that had been contracted by the Department of Basic Education to print the matric exam papers for the 2020 academic year.
According to Elijah Mhlanga, a spokesperson for the Basic Education Department, the report has now been approved for submission to the portfolio committee..
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