Students flock to schools allegedly part of matric cheating network

A major probe is underway into an alleged matric cheating network in Mpumalanga province, reports the Sunday Times.

One school under investigation, Magigwana Secondary, was noted and praised last year for achieving the highest number of bachelor passes in the province.

However, a deeper dive into the school’s logistics reveals some suspicious information.

The school boasts 1,008 pupils across all grades this year, yet 527 — over half of all pupils — are matric learners.

This is despite only 243 pupils being registered for Grade 11 at the school last year.

Three other schools — Dlumana High, Nyamazane High, and Mugena High, have also been identified for their abnormally high number of matric learners.

An investigation is reportedly underway to determine what brought so many new matric learners to these schools — with insiders alleging that it is because learners “know they will be allowed to cheat in exams.”

Cheating on WhatsApp

This is the latest development in a previously-reported cheating scandal that rocked the province.

It was found that there were dedicated WhatsApp groups that provided answers to exam questions — helping learners to cheat during their exams.

Learners reportedly paid teachers up to R1,500 to be in these groups and receive the correct answers for their papers.

One group, called “Road to Varsity,” had over 370 members from three Mpumalanga schools — and there were reportedly known to be at least two other similar groups.

The teachers involved allegedly allowed other forms of cheating, too — including giving out answers during toilet breaks, passing crib notes to learners in exams, and telling learners to keep another cell phone in their sock should they be asked to hand in their primary phone.

Matric exam controversies

This is far from the first controversy involving South Africa’s matric exams over the years.

For example, in 2020, Mathematics Paper 2 was leaked into the public domain.

“Initial indications are that the paper became available in the early parts of Monday morning, hours before the paper could be written,” said the Department of Basic Education.

It was later discovered that the papers were leaked by an employee at the company contracted to print exam papers.

This employee was later arrested in connection with the leak.

Now read: Matric exam cheating scandal exposed — Teachers gave answers on WhatsApp groups

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Students flock to schools allegedly part of matric cheating network