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Matrics to rewrite maths and physics exams

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The Maths Paper 2 and Physical Sciences (Chemistry) Paper 2 will be rewritten nationally on December 15 and December 17, Minister Angie Motshekga announced on Friday.

Matric exam papers
The Maths Paper 2 and Physical Sciences (Chemistry) Paper 2 will be rewritten nationally on December 15 and December 17, Minister Angie Motshekga announced on Friday. Picture Ian Landsberg/African News Agency (ANA).

The Maths Paper 2 and Physical Sciences (Chemistry) Paper 2 will be rewritten nationally on December 15 and December 17, Minister Angie Motshekga announced on Friday.

The Department of Basic Education (DBE) held a media briefing to give the public an update on the investigation on the leaked maths and physics papers.

“After consultations with the relevant stakeholders, it was agreed that there will be a national rewrite of the maths and physics paper.

“This is the first time ever in history and the decision to do this was difficult and sad.

“We have had provincial rewrites but never national… I still feel a lump in my throat, but we felt it was necessary under the circumstances,” said Motshekga.

The maths paper will be written on December 15 at 2pm while the physics paper will be written at 9am on December 17, this is after the initial end date for the National Senior Certificate (NSC) exams.

Motshekga stressed that the 2-weeks investigation into the exam paper leaks to determine the spread of the papers was costly.

“Tampering with exams is a serious offence,”she said.

Earlier, the DBE’s chief directors Dr Rufus Poliah explained that the credibility and integrity of the NSC were at utmost importance.

He said uMalusi, an independent body that regulates the standards of the exams, found that the integrity and credibility of the exams were irrevocably compromised.

According to the investigation, 195 pupils had access to the leaked maths paper which was spread on social media.

While it was undetermined how far the physics paper had spread.

“Electronic media was the main modality of communication.

It has no geographical boundaries.

“What’s on social media spreads like wildfires,” he said.

Poliah was at pains to stress that it was impossible to determine how far the leaked papers had spread within the limited time period.

He said to get cellphone records of the 195 pupils would mean that they have to apply to the courts and for the records to be issued there would be a seven-day waiting period.

“Option 1, the national rewrite of the papers is the most acceptable option to remove lingering doubt,” he said.

The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) said: “We understand that this will cause disappointment and will impact on the plans of some of our candidates, but we appeal for understanding.

“These are exceptional circumstances and are ultimately in the interest of fairness to all candidates and the credibility of these examinations.

“There can be no traces of doubt in the integrity of the National Senior Certificate when the results are released.”

The WCED added that this examination was important.