As the 2016 National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations get closer, Education MEC Debbie Schafer speaking at ID Mkize Senior Secondary School, warned Grade 12 pupils about cheating during exams.
She warned them that if they are caught cheating, no one will trust them again and their future might be ruined for good.
She said cheating in the matric examinations can result in serious consequences such as being banned from writing the NSC for up to three years.
Ms Schafer addressed the pupils at the Gugulethu school ahead of the 2016 NSC examinations and also to witness the signing of the NSC pledge by pupils. She said consequences of cheating, such as with crib notes or by carrying any electronic devices loaded with information, can include the results of the candidate being declared null and void.
She said when the candidate’s results are declared null and void, the result for the specific subject is marked as irregular but the candidate will receive results for the other subjects as well as a letter informing the candidate about the irregularity that occurred and the sanction imposed.
Ms Schafer said the candidate will not receive a NSC until they rewrite the subject and apply for a combination of results.
She added that disqualified pupils can be banned from writing the examination for between one and three years. “This will obviously affect the candidate’s future study plans and opportunities. The pupils have spent at least 12 years at school and should not risk throwing all this away by choosing to use irregular means to pass the examinations,” she said.
She said in the coming days, candidates across the province will be signing a voluntary pledge that, among other things, shows their commitment to comply with all rules and regulations relevant to the NSC exams.
These regulations include following the instructions of the invigilators and not participating in any wrongdoing, for example, trying to bring unauthorised materials or electronic devices, including cellphones, into the exam centre.
She garnered the support of teachers and pupils to discourage cheating and encouraged the Grade 12s to remain calm and complete the questions which they know instead of attempting to cheat.
Ms Schafer explained to pupils what would happen if they are caught cheating. “I know it is difficult at times, it is tough. But you have been to school for the rest of your time and this is your last year here. You have worked for 12 years. If you cheat once and be caught no one will ever trust you. Even when you are looking for a job, people will not trust you. Please do not try to put notes under your desks, put them on cellphones or any other thing,” she warned.
School principal Zola Pahlane said his school understands the importance of exams.”The ball is now in children’s court. But I can assure that we are ready for them. We have done what we should have done and are now ready to tackle the exams. We pledge to play our role,” he said.
His sentiments were shared by pupil Zikhona Ngetu. She is positive that no one will be involved in cheating. “I am positive that I will do well and my fellow pupils will do the same. I am more than prepared for the day,” she said.
Zikhona, who also read out the pledge to her fellow Grade 12s, said she felt honoured by the visit of the MEC and it would boost their confidence levels.
The pledge states that the candidates will uphold the principles of honesty and integrity in the examination by among other things: complying with all the rules and regulations relevant to the NSC examination;
Not being influenced, in anyway, to cheat in the examination;
Not participating in any wrongdoing which includes, but not limited to copying, being in possession of unauthorised material or electronic devices, accepting or providing assistance to another candidate, writing on behalf of another candidate or any other unauthorised action and
Reporting any form of wrongdoing to the school principal.