Subsequent to the media briefing hosted by the Minister of Basic Education, on Tuesday, 17 November 2015, regarding the leakage of the Life Sciences Paper 2 in the Vhembe district in the Limpopo province, the DBE would like to provide an update on progress made with the investigation thus far. The Investigation Team comprising the South African Qualifications Authority, University South Africa, Umalusi and the DBE has been established and the investigation in the province has commenced. The Interview Team has questioned a total eight learners, to date, who have been suspected of being in possession of the Life Sciences question paper and seven of them have admitted to having access to the question paper prior to the writing of the examination. The interviews are continuing over the weekend so that this initial phase of the investigation can be concluded at the earliest. The interviews have revealed that the learners that may have had access to the question paper, extends beyond the one school mentioned at the press briefing. A total of eleven schools in the Vhembe district may have had prior access to the question paper, and the indications are that a few learners in each of these schools, were provided with electronic copies of the paper from their friends.
The NATJOC and the PROVJOC have been included in the investigations and they are deploying their top investigators to this case to ensure that the source of the leakage and the extent of the leakage are established in the shortest time possible. The DBE has various mechanisms in place to deal with compromises of this nature which include a rewrite of the examination, an audit of learners’ scripts during the marking process and a statistical analysis of the learners results. Through these mechanisms the learners that have had prior access to the question paper can be identified with a high degree of accuracy. The DBE is also not limiting its investigation to Life Sciences Paper 2, since other papers may have also been compromised. Learners in other provinces that may have had contact with the learners in the Vhembe district is being investigated. The DBE will consider the rewrite as the last option and the extent of the rewrite will be determined by the information gathered over the next few days. In the case of a re-write, this will be communicated timeously to candidates.
The DBE is closely monitoring the examinations in the province and will continue until the end of the examination. The examinations in the Limpopo province and the other eight provinces is proceeding extremely smoothly.
The examinations will conclude on Friday, 27 November 2015, with the writing of Visual Arts and Music.