Mpontsheng Secondary School in Gauteng is at the centre of a matric exam cheating scandal.
According to a report by the City Press, the principal of the school walked into a geography matric exam and handed out answers to paper 1 to pupils.
The report cited a whistleblower who revealed the alleged cheating – a parent of one of the pupils who contacted Umalusi.
This is the first cheating incident to be reported during the 2018 matric exams, added the City Press.
“Pupils were apparently bragging about the incident afterwards. Apparently the principal also told them not to worry about the geography paper 2 either, as he would also help them with that paper,” said the parent.
Umalusi has confirmed they received a complaint from a parent at the school, and that the department of basic education has been informed.
The department also confirmed it was aware of the incident. A preliminary investigation has found that it appears the pupils were given “guidance” on answers to the geography paper, it said.
A more thorough investigation will now take place before further action is taken.
South Africa’s matric exams have come under severe scrutiny in recent years, with allegations of cheating affecting pockets of pupils and teachers.
However, cheating is not a primary concern of education experts, but rather the low quality of the exams and the readiness to push pupils through.
Another grave concern is the high dropout rate of pupils who do not even make it to matric.
Called the “real matric pass rate”, studies have shown that of pupils who start school, around only 40% will pass matric 12 years later.