By Hertha Ekandjo
Education’s deputy minister Faustina Caley said that after the leakage of some examination papers in 2021, the ministry revisited the examination’s safety and security measures and all have been screened for the upcoming examination to prevent another exam paper leakage.
She said this during the national assembly session on Thursday at parliament in Windhoek.
“Training has been provided at all levels to sensitise all the role players and officials on possible pitfalls and areas of concern with the strategy methods of preventing any dishonesty, leakage, or malpractice of administrative irregularities,” she said.
According to her, the ministry had to admit that there were many levels and too many role players involved in examination administration.
She noted that as a ministry, they could assure the members of the August house that all safety and security measures are in place.
She said that the measures were comparable to other countries worldwide.
“We are pleading with everybody, starting from the candidates themselves, the teachers, heads of examination centres, investigators, principals, owners of private schools, part-time centres, and regional offices staff members to read and understand their roles very well,” said Caley.
Moreover, she said each person in the ministry should ensure the safeguarding and protection of the examination by doing what is expected from them.
She added that backup question papers are always set two years in advance, which was the same case in 2021.
“Backup questions are available and ready for any eventuality which we do not foresee if all the role players and stakeholders comply to set rules and regulations of engagement of the National examination,” explained the deputy minister.
She further mentioned that the ministry’s staff members, particularly the directorate of the national examinations and assessments have effectively communicated to explain what transpired in 2021 and communicated to the public and various media.
She further explained that those who were the cause of the implications of paper leakage have been charged and the law is busy taking its course.
“This is itself a milestone that shows that systems are in place to detect the origin of such incidents and that issues of such a nature will be dealt with swiftly and appropriately,” said Caley.
According to the ministry, the directorate of national examinations worked on such issues and set standards, rules and regulations.
Caley mentioned that every activity and step taken in each process is planned and guided by written rules and regulations to be followed by each role player starting from candidates to administrators.
In December 2021 the education ministry announced its disappointment following the leakage of 32 examination papers involving 10 grade 11 and 12 subjects, causing disruptions to a system that was already experiencing challenges due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The ministry at that time stated that the suspected leakage of some matric exam papers and memoranda had led to a disruption of the national examination of the affected subjects, which were to be rewritten in early 2022, consequently leading to an early closure of schools.
Caley, then, told journalists that three criminal cases had been opened with the police in Ongwediva and Ondangwa.
It was reported that the source of the leakage could have been through the examination papers which were intended for visually impaired candidates.
Police investigations at that time revealed that more examination papers comprising different subjects of grade 12 old curriculum ordinary level and grade 11 revised curriculum ordinary level could also be affected.