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Release of withheld results and Cabinet approves appointment of new Department of Basic Education Director-General, 13 August 2015

 

2014 National Senior Certificate

The challenges involving group copying in the 2014 National Senior Certificate examination mainly in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) and Eastern Cape (EC) have been extensively reported on by the media. Journalists covering the story have been regularly updated on progress regarding the investigations.  Results of the implicated examination centres were withheld pending the outcome of an investigation which we sought to finalise as quickly as possible in order to ensure that the future of the learners would not be severely jeopardised.

 

Investigations in KZN and EC were concluded in March this year and hearings in the EC were conducted between the 28th and 30th of April 2015. Hearings in the KZN province commenced on the 8th of June 2015. In the majority of implicated examination centres learners participated in the hearings and a large number of learners confessed to what had taken place. The investigations have revealed that group copying did indeed take place in a number of the implicated examination centres. In the majority of the examination centres where learners co-operated with the process, the results of these candidates have been nullified but the affected learners will be permitted to write the examination this year during the October / November NSC sitting. There were also learners who engaged legal representation, their hearings have had to be rescheduled to accommodate this and will commence on 31 August 2015.

 

The total number of centres in the EC where results were nullified were seven and seven hearings have been rescheduled due to legal representation. In KZN 11 examination centres results were nullified and 11 hearings were rescheduled as learners either did not participate in the initial hearing or sought legal representation. It is hoped that the outcome of the remaining processes will be finalised by the end of September 2015.

 

2014 Senior Certificate

This phenomenon of group copying appears to have emerged for the first time during the 2014 sitting of the old Senior Certificate examination but was isolated to the province of KwaZulu-Natal. 153 examination centres were implicated in the group copying. However, the investigation process was delayed as priority was given to address the irregularities that emerged in the 2014 NSC. The KZN province has since conducted two audits of the 2014 SC scripts. The DBE has also conducted an independent verification of the audit conducted by the province. The independent verification conducted by the DBE was done in conjunction with Umalusi during the period 20 – 23 May 2015. 

 

In the case of the 153 centres, where subjects were audited and where candidates were cleared, their results would be released. In the case of the subjects that were audited and where evidence of copying has been confirmed, the results of these candidates will be nullified. To further ensure that candidates are not unduly penalised, candidates will be given 21 days to appeal the nullification of their results. Written notifications will be provided to individual candidates informing them of the opportunity to appeal. Appeals submitted will be considered by a panel comprising the DBE and PEDs. On the basis of the appeal submissions, a decision will be made to invite the learners to hearings. Learners that do not submit an appeal within the 21 day period will have their nullifications enforced.

 

This has been a gruelling process and one that has been a major learning curve for the Department and all stakeholders involved. We have put measures in place to ensure that this group copying phenomenon does not occur in the 2015 examinations.

 

2015 Senior Certificate

The Department has completed the administration of the 2015 Senior Certificate examination in July 2015. This examination is offered to adult candidates who have previous credits from the old Senior Certificate and also to those adults who have a minimum of the old Standard Seven or Grade 9. A total of 174 393 adults registered to write this examination.

 

The DBE has implemented a number of measures to improve the integrity of the administration of this examination and to curb irregularities in the 2015 sitting. This included stringent monitoring and invigilation and the establishment of designated centres where the examination was written. Umalusi has declared the 2015 Senior Certificate examination as being fair and free of any serious irregularities that could compromise the examination. The results of these candidates will be released on 21 August 2015.

 

The preparations for the 2015 National Senior Certificate examinations are on track. The DBE has implemented various strategies to ensure that the irregularities of 2014 are completely eradicated. This includes more robust and stringent monitoring programmes, especially for the PEDs where assisted copying was identified, national standardised training of all PED personnel involved in invigilator training, categorisation of centres based on their risk profile and the invigilation will be strengthened based on the risk profile of the examination centre.

 

New DBE Director-General

The Department of Basic Education is proud to announce that Cabinet has approved the appointment of a new Director-General for Basic Education. After a rigorous interview and vetting process the successful candidate; Mr Hubert Mathanzima Mweli will take up his new role with immediate effect.

 

Mr Mweli comes to the position with a wealth of experience and an in-depth understanding of the needs and challenges in the sector. He has a number of qualifications which include a Bachelor of Arts in Education with Honours, a Bachelor of Administration in Industrial Relations with Honours, and a Master’s Degree in Development and Management, all from the University of the North West.

 

Mr Mweli is a seasoned educationalist who has risen through the ranks of the education sector having started as a teacher at Bophirima High School in 1990. He has been involved in the development of key education policies and has a number of successes under his belt.

 

Whilst Head of Department in the North West, the province went from being in the bottom three provinces to the top three in the Grade 12 examination results. He balanced the budget of the Department from a deficit of R1,2 billion occasioned by the cross boundary municipal disestablishment during 2007/8 financial year, and led the team that took the Department from a Disclaimer Audit Opinion to an Unqualified Audit Opinion with a Certificate of Merit of Excellence for 2008/9 financial year issued by the Auditor General. His full résumé will be made available upon request from our communications team.

 

Before a final decision was taken to appoint Mr Mweli as the DG here at the DBE, he was offered the position to go back to the North West province as Director General of the Province. However, after a successful negotiation we were able to retain his services.

 

There is no doubt we are looking forward to the wealth of experience and the leadership style Mr Mweli brings to the Department. We are confident that he will steer the Department on a continued growth trajectory while ensuring we continue to improve the quality and efficiency of the entire sector.

 

We would like to take this opportunity to thank Mr Paddy Padayachee for the sterling job he has done acting in the position of DG for the past two years. It has not been an easy task by any measure, yet he has successfully kept the Department stable and moving forward during this period of instability. His support and leadership has been invaluable.

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Written By: Administrator Account
Date Posted: 1/11/2016
Number of Views: 1246

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