The Education Department held a pledge ceremony for matriculants of 26 schools who will be writing their final examinations at Bhekizulu Senior Secondary School in Libode, O.R Tambo Costal District.
Chief Education Specialist in Examination and Assessment Directorate Funiwe Bhikitsha described the purpose of the pledge signing as an awareness to all learners who will be writing their final examination.
We are here to tell them that any unauthorized material, as well as a cellphone could have a negative impact on the results. There were learners who did not get their results in 2018, they got into the examination room with unauthorized material and with cellphones, added Bhikitsha.
Bhikitsha explained that the department's policy on irregularity states that if you get into the exam room with a cellphone or any unauthorized material, the results of the learner will be blocked and the learner will be able to write again after a year as the maximum sanction is three years.
Across the province, two schools were involved in irregularities in 2018 final examination, one school from Chris Hani West District and the other one here in O R Tambo Costal District, added Bikitsha.
She continued to say that two subjects were affected, one is Technical Sciences where 21 learners were assisted by teachers and 26 in Physical Sciences, one Principal and two teachers were found guilty and dismissed from their jobs.
The OR Tambo Region Chairperson of the South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU) Sivuyile Makunga said that as the union they are making a very clear call to all teachers to never engage in any irregularities during exams.
We understand that these teachers might be under pressure of wanting to see their schools performing better but in order for them to achieve that they need to prepare learners in the form of revisions, said Makunga.
He added that the law is clear on what should be done to all those who engage in such things, there is no other way to escape from that as the organization might not defend anyone who gets in that situation as they will even lose their jobs.
A grade 12 learner from Mxhume Senior Secondary School Ziyanda Mcunukelwa commented that throughout the year he has have been working tirelessly in making sure that when its time for final examination, he will be ready.
I have been working hard and with the help of my teachers, they have been doing a great job in supporting me, I am now ready for this exam, said Mcunukelwa.
As am a commercial student, I am looking forward to Business Studies since it's my favorite subject and I know very well that I will pass it, said a confident Mcunukelwa.
I am signing this pledge as a commitment to abide by the rules of the examinations and that I will not be taking part in anything that is not in line with the final examination rules. I will pass my examinations on my own without copying, he concluded.
Source: Eastern Cape Department of Education