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Opinion - No to examination leaks

2022-10-14  Prof Jairos Kangira

Opinion - No to examination leaks

As the nation enters into the season of national and international examinations in public and private schools and colleges, we need, all of us, as responsible citizens, to open our eyes and ears in every corner of the country so that we detect any instances of examination leaks so that we preserve integrity in our examination system. We must all say “no’” to examination leaks this time.

It is a collective responsibility that everyone should shoulder to assist the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture, which has always done a sterling job in curbing examination fraudulent and dishonest activities by unscrupulous individuals, who are bent on tarnishing the image of our country for the proverbial thirty pieces of silver.

Last year, the nation was plunged into panic and pandemonium when 32 Grade 11 and Grade 12 examination papers were leaked, leading to the arrest of 10 dishonest and obnoxious individuals. 

The affected subjects for the Grade 11 Ordinary Level were: English second language paper 1; Afrikaans second language paper 1; Biology papers 1, 2 and 3; Mathematics papers 1 and 2; Physics papers 1, 2 and 3; Chemistry papers 1, 2 and 3; Entrepreneurship paper 1; Business Studies papers 1 and 2; Agriculture paper 1, and Oshikwanyama and Oshindonga papers 1, 2 and 3. 

Those for the Grade 12 Ordinary Level included: English second language paper 1 (core) and paper 2 (extended); History papers 1 and 2; Agriculture papers 1 and 2; Development Studies 1, 2 and 3; and Biology papers 1, 2 and 3. That so many papers were leaked was a cause for great concern.

The examination leakage had far reaching consequences. It cost the government several millions of dollars to reset the affected examinations. Scheduled papers had to be cancelled and more time was given to teachers and learners in these affected subjects for them to prepare to write these examinations in the following year. 

There is no doubt that learners were negatively affected psychologically and emotionally by being asked to study again and retake examinations they had already finished writing in some cases. 

This examination leakage had a ripple effect as it delayed the release of examination results, which in turn delayed the registration of those students who qualified to enrol in higher education institutions. 

All this was caused by some irresponsible, corrupt and incorrigible individuals who put money (thirty pieces of silver) first before the lives of thousands of learners who were caught up in this examination scandal. 

It is against this serious, gloomy and disconsolate background that I thought of reflecting on the past in a bid to remind conscientise the public about the consequences of examination leaks. 

In so doing, I am urging everyone to be on the lookout, to be vigilant and report suspicious activities and individuals related to this outrageous scandal of examination leaks.

 It should be every citizen’s concern so that we have all a common cause of achieving a zero tolerance of examination leakages this year. If we all say “no, never again”, we will be assured of triumph over the cancerous crime of examination leaks that can easily destroy our strong education system. 

In other words, from the time of item writing (setting of examinations) to the time of writing these papers, the security of the papers must not be compromised. 

Those involved in the security of these papers must be men and women of high integrity who should appreciate that they have the security of the nation in their hands. These men and women are entrusted with a heavy responsibility, a national duty. 

They should not be led into temptation by the love of making a quick buck; betraying the country for thirty pieces of silver. Selling examination papers is like selling the security of the nation to enemies. 

You can imagine the seriousness of the crime of selling the country to enemies; it is a treason. When I was discussing this matter with some colleagues last week, we came to a conclusion that criminals who leak or sell examination papers should be charged with treason. It must be a harsh and deterrent sentence that will nip the crime in the bud. 

The severity of the punishment is really needed because criminals experiment with the future of generations by selling examination papers and getting away with light sentences. We should not watch while the criminals in our midst are destroying our education system.

We therefore call upon student bodies like NANSO, community leaders, teachers, principals, education officers, directors and deputy directors, and all education stakeholders, to be vigilant and report any cases of examination leaks to the relevant authorities before it is too late. If the criminals realise that they are under surveillance, they will not dare steal and sell examination papers. 


2022-10-14  Prof Jairos Kangira

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