Umalusi CEO‚ Dr Mafu Rakometsi‚ on Friday said irregularities were isolated and these had been managed appropriately by blocking results of affected candidates.
He however said they were running one of the biggest systems in the country and it would be difficult to give the exact number of exam irregularities.
Tight security measures and system improvements have paid off for the Department of Basic Education‚ with not a single question paper leaked for the first time in years.
Despite minor incidences of individual irregularities where candidates were caught with script notes and cell phones in examination centres‚ Umalusi is satisfied that there were no systematic irregularities that might have compromised the credibility and integrity of the examinations.
“…for us to know individual acts of dishonesty would be difficult but they are very small. We are talking here about learners bringing in script notes. Those would be isolated incidents. We are talking here about a learner coming into the examination room with a cell phone and you also get incidents of learners assisting each other. Those are isolated incidents and it is difficult to keep count of those‚” he said.
Giving the results a green light‚ Professor John Volmink‚ chairperson of Umalusi Council‚ said …”the Executive Committee of Council approves the release of the DBE results for the November 2017 NSC examinations…”
He however said this was on condition that the results of the candidates implicated in the examination irregularities be blocked and be investigated and the outcome of the investigations reported to Umalusi.
Department of Basic Education spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga said they were pleased that their interventions in preventing irregularities paid off.
He said among the major interventions was that they profiled all examination centres and singled out those that had challenges in the past.
“We put more people there to ensure more monitoring is done and some lost their licences and were not given statuses of exam centres‚” Mhlanga said.
He said they also reduced the time of delivering question papers‚ saying that the challenge at some stage in 2016 was that question papers would languish in their storerooms for about a week‚ which he said gave people opportunity to break into the store and steal or photograph question papers.
“This time we did not give them that opportunity…we also got to speak to our officials a lot‚ our (Director-General) visited all provinces about three times this year alone to emphasise the point of having quality examinations and what it does to the moral of our staff and learners because no learner wants a certificate from a year of scandal‚” he said.
A total of 802‚636 candidates sat for the 2017 NSC‚ set and administered by the basic education department‚ of which 634‚527 were full-time candidates and 168‚109 were part-time candidates.
A total of 58 subjects were presented for standardisation and‚ after moderation‚ raw marks were accepted for 38 subjects. A total 16 of these subjects were standardised upwards while downward moderation was effected on four subjects.
Basic education minister‚ Angie Motshekga‚ is expected to release the examination results on Thursday.