Avoid leaking exam papers- Steenkamp

• By Erasmus Shalihaxwe

EXECUTIVE Director in the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture Sanet Steenkamp has pleaded with those involved in the handling of national examination papers for grade 11 and 12 to avoid the leaking of documents related to examinations by all means necessary.

She said this in an interview with Confidente this week while highlighting measures the ministry had put in place to avoid examination paper leaked and preparations for the 2022 Namibia Senior Secondary Certificate (NSSCO) and (NSSAS) national examinations for grade high and ordinary level.

In 2021, the ministry was forced to cancel and postpone the examinations after question papers were leaked, which led to 10 suspects being arrested of which many were later released on bail after appearing in court.

The examinations were then written in January this year, but faced many criticisms from student unions, labour unions and politicians who bemoaned pupils’ poor performance when results were released which saw less than 20 per cent pupils pass.

To this Steenkamp said to avoid the repetition of what happened last year, everyone involved in the handling of examination papers should be patriotic and consider the future of learners and do everything they can to avoid examination papers from being leaked again.

She said that the administration of National Examinations was guided by rules and regulations that ensured the secure handling of all examination materials and avoid leakages.

“At National level, the Directorate of National Examination and Assessment has done its part in ensuring strict control measures are in place and understood. However, at the regional level and school level question papers and other examination materials become the responsibility of the Regional Directors and school principals.

“We are pleading with everyone, starting with the candidates, teachers, heads of examination centres, invigilators, principals, owners of private schools or private part-time centres, regional office staff, the staff at national level, to read and understand their roles very well. If at each level, the responsible and accountable officials do their parts and play their roles well, we would avoid leakages, reduce or do away with mal-practices and administration irregularities,” Steenkamp said.

She added that this year, a total of 38 013 leaners have registered for NSSCO on the fulltime bases while 32 552 are registered on part-time basis, while 8 620 leaners registered on NSSAS full time and 591 are registered on part time.

The last examination paper for the NSSCO Grade 11 will be written on November 25, while the Advanced Subsidiary Level candidates will sit for their last paper on November 18. The results are anticipated to be released in January next but the exact date is yet to be decided and communicated.