The education ministry says that it may reset its examinations should it be found that the leaked Grade 12 English examination papers and memorandums have spread countrywide.

Deputy minister of education Faustina Namutenya Caley, said that investigations are currently underway into the leaked papers.

This comes after two students from Elite Tutorial College in Ondangwa were arrested by the Namibian police in Oshana last Wednesday.

“It’s true that it happened at a private examination centre. It leaked in Oshana. It’s also true that two learners were arrested. At this moment, investigations are on to determine how far [it has gone]. But knowing the technology of today, they are trying to determine how far the information has spread,” said Caley.

The students allegedly bought the question papers for N$600 but did not divulge from whom they bought the papers.

Caley said the ministry has established that some learners at certain schools in different regions were also affected.

“But so far, it’s still in the northern parts. In our policy, if it is determined that it is countrywide spread, then a new examination paper will be written at a later stage. But so far, it’s still contained to certain regions only.”

However, the Teachers Union of Namibia (TUN) has argued that there is no time for the ministry to carry out a full investigation and determine how far the leak has spread and should move to the next step and prepare another question paper.

TUN secretary-general MahongoraKavihuha said that the ministry generally prepares backup question papers in case of any eventuality.

“There won’t be sufficient time for investigations. The bottom line is, what are you investigating for you to make a decision? The question paper has leaked out. So, she [Education minister Anna Nghipondoka] has to be bold and make a decision. She cannot be so weak to the extent that she cannot make a decision.

Kavihuha further said that since it is clear the question paper has leaked, the ministry’s investigation should be to determine how it was leaked, not whether it leaked or not, as the examinations are fast approaching. 

“They cannot keep the parents, learners and the teachers’ hostage, waiting on purported investigations. Whether it’s there or not, we also don’t know. So, what is the next step? Bring a new question paper. We are calling on her; if they have established that the question paper leaked, then the new question paper should continue.”

The unionist further accused the ministry of often failing to consult unions on matters such as these. He said he only found out about the leaked question paper in the print media.

“The ministry of education is one of the poorest ministries when it comes to social dialogue. They are very poor in consultations. Everyone is kept in the darkness. So, it is not a surprise that we are only reading about these things in the newspaper.”

The ministry’s spokesperson Sem Shino said that the ministry had received the report on the incident. The school principal, teachers and all learners at the Elite Tutorial College are being investigated.