Dismay as yet another matric paper is leaked shortly before exam

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Dismay as yet another matric paper is leaked shortly before exam

As Hawks probe earlier maths paper leak, science tutor gets angry calls from pupils for his whistle-blowing

Journalist
Basic education minister Angie Motshekga.
Basic education minister Angie Motshekga.
Image: Thapelo Morebudi/The Sunday Times

The tutor who blew the whistle on the leak of physical sciences paper 2 erased the tweet on Monday after receiving calls from angry pupils fearing they would have to rewrite it.

The tutor, whose identity is known to Sunday Times Daily, received a screenshot of the question paper at 8.17am on Monday – just under an hour before it was to be written at 9am.

The reported leak of the paper comes in the wake of the maths paper 2 that was leaked last Monday.

The basic education department spent most of Monday locked in meetings to discuss the apparent leak of the science paper. By the end of the day, it released a statement  revealing it had asked the Hawks to investigate the leak of the maths paper 2.

The reported leak of physics 2 comes after the department asked the the Hawks to investigate an earlier incident involving maths last week,” the statement read.

“The investigations are at an advanced stage, and details on the progress of the probe will be made public at the right time while possible areas of weakness have been identified.

“In addition to this, the department has also dispatched teams to provinces to recheck the security systems.

“The CEM expressed concern that the leaks were causing disruptions to a system which already experienced challenges due to Covid-19.”

Sunday Times Daily is in possession of screenshots of the questions, which were allegedly posted on a WhatsApp group hours before the paper was written at 9am. The screenshots of the paper reflect they were posted at 5.10am and 5.11am.

The tutor, who offers part-time tuition to high school pupils, tweeted about the paper leaking just after 8am on Monday. The paper was WhatsApped to him early on Monday morning, but the sender then immediately deleted it.

The basic education department was locked in meetings on Monday after reports that the matric physics paper was leaked on WhatsApp.
The basic education department was locked in meetings on Monday after reports that the matric physics paper was leaked on WhatsApp.
Image: Supplied

He said he was shocked when a pupil WhatsApped screenshots of the paper to him just after 8.17am.

“I deleted the tweet because I was receiving angry calls from many people, including matrics.”

Asked if he would cooperate with the department if he was approached by them, he said: “I will wait for their call if they do call.” ​

Meanwhile, a senior physical sciences teacher from KwaZulu-Natal said the pupils should not be blamed if the paper was leaked.

“They are stressed and are in a situation where some of them are desperate. The adults have to be held accountable because if they didn’t leak the paper, how would the kids have got their hands on it?”

He said the maths and physical sciences papers were the most sought after.

A chief invigilator at a school said it would be disappointing if the physical sciences paper 2 had also leaked.

“Our children have worked and studied very hard for the exams. It would be a blow if it’s confirmed that the physical sciences paper 2 had also leaked.”

Paul Colditz, CEO of the Federation of Governing Bodies of SA Schools, said: “If it transpired that the physical sciences paper 2 had also leaked, it will complicate matters further because plans are afoot for a possible rewrite of the maths paper depending on the outcome of the investigation by the investigative team.”

He said if there’s a leak “you must find the source and deal with that source decisively”. 

IN FULL: Basic education department responds to matric paper leaks

The council of education ministers held an urgent meeting this afternoon to consider the implications of the latest developments with the leak of the mathematics paper 2 and physical sciences question papers.

This follows reports that a physical sciences paper 2 had been leaked and circulated before the commencement of examination earlier this morning [Monday].

The reported leak of physics 2 come after the department asked the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations, the Hawks, to investigate an earlier incident involving maths last week.

The investigations are at an advanced stage, and details on the progress of the probe will be made public at the right time while possible areas weakness have been identified.

In addition to this, the department has also dispatched teams to provinces to recheck the security systems.

The CEM expressed concern the leaks were causing disruptions to a system which already experienced challenges due to COVID-19.

“It is unfortunate that people continue to be involved in something like this even though the consequences can be dire.

"We condemn in the strongest terms the conduct of persons who undermine the integrity of the examination because it causes untold stress on the learners who are looking forward to exiting the schooling system with a pass from an honest examination, not one associated with cheating,” said minister Angie Motshekga.

CEM considered several options that are meant to further protect the exams, but for security reasons these would not be divulged.

“We want to reassure the public that we are hard at work to ensure that we protect the examinations. The Hawks have been helpful in working with us and they are encouraging developments coming from their side,” said Motshekga.

The DBE and provinces are continuing to work round the clock to implement the new measures that have been activated to protect the ongoing examinations and also to hunt down the culprits.