Exam results withheld as cheating grips TVET colleges
More than 2 000 results withheld as probe is launched
Hundreds of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) students are in limbo after their results were withheld amid allegations of cheating.
The affected colleges are in Limpopo and the Free State.
Department of High Education and Training spokesperson Ismael Mnisi confirmed the withholding of 2028 results.
“The results of these students have been blocked and a decision in this regard will be taken after the investigation and hearings with the implicated students are completed.
“At the hearings, the implicated students will be allowed to respond to the allegations of assisted copying,” said Mnisi.
“If the implicated students are found guilty, their results will be nullified and they will be suspended from participating in future examinations for three years. This is in accordance with the National Policy on the Conduct, Administration and Management of Examinations of Colleges as established, registered and reported in terms of the Continuing Education and Training Act of 2006,” said Mnisi.
He said of the 123 examination centres implicated, 33 were public centres and 90 were private examination centres.
He said the withheld results were those of mathematics N3, Engineering Science N3, electro-technology N3, and fitting and machining theory N2.
He, however, denied the students had access to the question papers and answers. He said the alleged serious irregularities were classified as assisted copying and not leakage of question papers.
Several students who spoke to Sunday World but cannot be named for fear of reprisals, confirmed they had not received their results. “We have not yet received our results as promised. Rumours are the results were released but nobody has received them. I called students I know, they confirmed that they too did not receive their results,” said a student from Sekhukhune TVET College in Limpopo.
Another student from Flavius Mareka TVET College also said they had not yet received their exam results.
“We have not yet received the results. They are still blocked,” said the irate students.
Contrary to Mnisi’s denial that there were no leaked question papers, Sunday World learnt that some question papers and answers were shared by students via their Whatsapp group.
A screenshot of the 40-member Whatsapp group, which this newspaper has seen, shows students talking about the plot to get question papers and the memorandum at 9.03pm in June.
One of the students asked in the Whatsapp group: “When are we getting the question papers and answers?”
Then another responded by saying that they must be patient because someone was going to post the question papers on the social media group at midnight.
The conversation continued until 10pm when the students agreed they would remind the person at 2am if the question papers and answers they were promised were not sent after that time.
At 1.57am, the much-awaited documents were posted in the form of 19 pages, and the students started celebrating, while some were asking where and how the person accessed the documents.
Some of the students saw the question papers late and started complaining and demanding more papers for upcoming subjects.
Sources at Sekhukhune College said it was not the first time that students have been accused of cheating at the tertiary institution.
Umalusi spokesperson Biki Lepota refused to speculate as to when the results would be released, but said the department was the only body authorised and responsible to release the results.
“The four subjects were standardised only on Monday, September 5 2022, since they were left unstandardised on August 12 2022 pending an investigation by the Department of Higher Education and Training and verification by Umalusi,” said Lepota.
“So, as to whether the results have been released, it’s a question that should be directed to the department.”
Screenshot of a Whatsapp group shows students talked about cheating