Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has revealed the extent to which teachers helped matric pupils cheat in last year’s exams.
She blasted teachers and principals who encouraged group copying, saying that they would be criminally charged.
“There are things you just don’t do as an adult – you just don’t corrupt children,” Motshekga said.
“There is a standard that teachers have to maintain for the sake of the profession.
“There is a big moral responsibility that teachers carry and you can’t compromise on that for anything.”
The continuing investigation will now focus on teachers, principals and invigilators.
A KwaZulu-Natal pupil wrote on an exam answer sheet: “We can now continue.”
This, according to Motshekga, “clearly indicated . that someone was dictating answers to them”.
She said that in other instances teachers had simply walked into exam rooms and told invigilators to leave so that they could help their pupils.
“The papers are opened at the school, so teachers would not have had sight of the paper before. So, I think, as the teacher looked at the paper, she found there was a section she had not taught the class and quickly rushed to the exam room to dictate it to them.”
A KwaZulu-Natal pupil admitted during the hearings to cribbing .
Motshekga said the exam results of pupils found guilty of group copying would be nullified.
The department launched the investigation into cheating allegations involving 153 exam centres in Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng earlier this year.
More than 3000 pupils implicated in group copying will sit for this year’ s exams in October and November.
Only one KwaZulu-Natal pupil, among a group of 2307, was cleared of cheating charges; 56 confessed.
Of the 720 implicated in Eastern Cape, 26 were cleared and 17 confessed.
Former acting director-general of the Department of Basic Education Paddy Padayachee said security would be improved.
The number of exam monitors would be increased, depending on the level of risk. Invigilators would be replaced by district, provincial or national department officials.