Minister Schäfer cautions Grade 12 learners against cheating in the upcoming NSC examinations

Debbie Schafer, MPP

Western Cape Minister of Education

With less than a week to go before the National Senior Certificate examinations, I would like to encourage all our candidates for the 2014 NSC examinations to stay focused and to put in the hard work required to prepare for the upcoming examinations.

Candidates are encouraged to ensure they are familiar with all the applicable times and rules for their examinations.

In particular, I should like to take this opportunity to caution all candidates writing against cheating in these examinations. Cheating can result in serious consequences such as being banned for writing the NSC up to three years.

In the coming days, candidates across the Province will be signing a voluntary pledge that, amongst other things, shows their commitment to comply with all rules and regulations relevant to the NSC exams.

The pledge states that the candidate will uphold the principles of honesty and integrity in the examination by:

  • Complying with all the rules and regulations relevant to the National Senior Certificate examination
  • Following the instructions of the invigilator during the writing of the examination
  • Not being influenced, in anyway, to cheat in the examination
  • Not participating in any wrongdoing which includes, but not limited to: copying, being in possession of unauthorized material or electronic devices, accepting or providing assistance to another candidate, writing on behalf of another candidate or any other unauthorized action
  • Reporting any form of wrongdoing that I am aware of to the school principal.

The WCED has employed 1 200 invigilators at the 438 exam centres. Part of their duties is to check whether candidates are adhering to the NSC rules and regulations.

In 2013, 8 candidates were disqualified due to irregularities in the NSC.

  • 5 candidates were in possession of a cellphone for which the sanction was that the candidates would have to wait until Oct/ Nov 2014 to write their NSC examinations
  • 1 candidate was found unlawfully using his cellphone, for which the sanction was that the learner be barred from writing NSC examinations for a two year period
  • 1 candidate was found in possession of unauthorised material/crib notes and was barred from writing the NSC examinations for a two year period
  • 1 candidate who used inappropriate language in the examination script and was afforded an opportunity to write the Feb/March 2014 Supplementary examination.

While this is a significant decrease from the 17 cases reported in 2012, it still meant that 8 learners could not pass their NSC because of the wrong choices that they made.  Cheating is a SERIOUS offence and the penalties, as per the NSC Regulations, are severe.

The results of a candidate found with crib notes or carrying any electronic devices can be declared null and void.

When the candidate’s results are declared null and void, the result for the specific subject is marked as irregular (null and void) but the candidate will receive results for the other subjects as well as a letter informing the candidate about the irregularity that occurred and the sanction imposed.

The candidate will not receive a National Senior Certificate until she/he re-writes the subject and applies for a combination of results

Disqualified learners can be banned from writing the examination for between one and three years. This will have obvious effects on the candidate’s future study plans and opportunities.

Put simply – Cheating is not worth it! You are only cheating yourself!

Learners have spent at least twelve years at school and should not risk throwing all this away by using irregular means to pass the examinations.

I sincerely hope that we will not have to disqualify any candidates this year.

Instead, I would like to see improved results, quality passes and an increase in numbers passing this year.

I wish all the Grade 12’s the best of luck. I am looking forward to the release of the results NSC results at schools on 6th January next year.