Exam leak probe widensBy: SHINOVENE IMMANUEL
Grade 10 and 12 examinations to continue despite theft of papers TWELVE pupils and one adult have been arrested for being in possession of stolen Grade 10 and 12 examination papers in the Caprivi Region, Deputy Commissioner Edwin Kanguatjivi of the police public relations division said yesterday.
The suspects appeared in the Katima Mulilo Magistrate’s Court yesterday.
The police said a national investigation into the theft would be launched, because the papers could have been distributed nationwide.
The theft of exam papers, which Education Minister Abraham Iyambo has described as a leak, will not disrupt the current examinations, Iyambo said.
“With the latest technology, copying and scanning, it is possible that the papers could have been shared with other regions. Our investigations continue,” Kanguatjivi said.
Iyambo, accompanied by the undersecretary for formal education, Charles Kabajani, and the director responsible for National Examinations and Assessment, Cavin Nyambe, travelled to the Caprivi Region at the weekend following media reports of the theft of examination papers to “assess the extent of the leakage”.
Police and regional education officers in the Caprivi, where the leak is said to have taken place, were tightlipped yesterday and did not want to divulge any information about the investigation.
Despite the serious nature of the allegation, Iyambo said the exams would continue as scheduled. “The marking of all answer scripts for all 13 regions will continue as scheduled from October 17 to 25 November,” the minister said in a statement issued on Sunday.
He called on those involved in the administration of national exams to “maintain security at every stage and level” of the exams.
“These security measures must be employed from the setting of the question papers till the release of the results.”
He said the future of Namibian children couldn’t be compromised because of poor administration of national exams.
Iyambo called on the police to accelerate the investigation. The ministry will wait for a report from the police, study it and consult.
“This will include Cabinet, the Namibia Examination Board and the Cambridge International Examinations. The nation will then be informed accordingly.”
It is not the first theft of national examination papers in Namibia. A similar scandal rocked the education sector in 2002 and a school principal was sentenced to jail for selling examination papers to students.