Monday, 15 February 2021 04:43

Umalusi approves release of 2020 examination results

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After a strenuous academic year, Umalusi, the Quality Council in General and Further Education and Training, has approved the release of the 2020 National Senior Certificate (NSC) examination results.

Prof_John_Volmink

Over the past three weeks, members of the Umalusi Assessment Standards Committee and Umalusi staff hade successfully conducted the quality assurance of the management and administration of exit point examinations.

These includes the Independent Examinations Board (IEB); South African Comprehensive Assessment Institute (SACAI); Benchmark Assessment Agency (BAA); Department of Basic Education (DBE) and the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET).

Addressing the media on Monday, Umalusi Chairperson, Professor John Volmink, noted that despite the challenges presented by COVID-19, the council’s quality assurance process focused on the aspects of its mandate, including the external moderation of question papers for all subjects, learning areas, instructional offerings across all qualifications and assessment bodies; verification of a sample of site-based assessment (SBA) marks; monitoring of the assessment bodies’ state of readiness to conduct and manage the 2020 national examinations; monitoring the conduct of examinations; monitoring and verification of marking; as well as standardisation of results.

The class of 2020 was the 7th Grade 12 cohort to write final examinations under the Curriculum Assessment Policy Statements (CAPS).

Volmink said Umalusi is deeply disappointed that the 2020 NSC examinations administered by DBE were marred by the leakage of Mathematics Paper 2 and Physical Sciences Paper 2 question papers.

“Umalusi takes a dim view of paper leakages as they have the potential to compromise the integrity and credibility of the entire examination. It is also worth noting that there are serious consequences for those who are found guilty of such criminal activities, regardless of whether they are learners or officials,” Volmink said.

However, the council is satisfied that there were no systemic irregularities reported which might have compromised the overall credibility and integrity of the November 2020 NSC examinations.

The council approves the release of the DBE results of the November 2020 NSC examinations based on available evidence that the examinations were administered in accordance with the examination policies and regulations.

“In respect of the generally identified irregularities, the DBE is required to block the results of candidates implicated in irregularities including the candidates involved in group copying pending the outcome of further DBE investigations and Umalusi verification; and tighten the security at all levels to ensure that there are no leakages of question papers,” Volmink said.

The Basic Education Department is required to address the directives for compliance and improvement highlighted in the Quality Assurance of Assessment report and submit an improvement plan by 26 March 2021.

The council has also approved the 2020 examination administered by IEB.

“The IEB is required to block the results of candidates implicated in irregularities pending the outcome of further IEB investigations and Umalusi verification; ensure that Umalusi is informed before new examination centres including examination centres outside the borders of South Africa are established; and address the directives for compliance and improvement highlighted in the Quality Assurance of Assessment report and submit an improvement plan by 26 March 2021,” Volmink said.

Volmink noted that the investigation into the leakage of the two question papers is not yet complete.

He warned that Umalusi can still nullify the certificates of candidates who are found guilty of leaking the two papers even after receiving their results.

No systemic irregularities reported in SACAI examinations

While noting the isolated irregularities reported during the writing and marking of examinations administered by SACAI, Volmink said the council is satisfied that there were no systemic irregularities reported which might have compromised the credibility and integrity of the November 2020 NSC examinations administered by SACAI.

The council has also approved the release of the SACAI results of the examinations.

“The SACAI is required to ensure compliance with the conditions for its provisional accreditation as an Assessment Body including not assisting unaccredited examination centres to bypass the registration and accreditation requirements; and address the directives for compliance and improvement highlighted in the Quality Assurance of Assessment report and submit an improvement plan by 26 March 2021,” Volmink said.

Results of seven centres blocked

While commending the DHET for conducting a successful and credible November 2020 NATED Report 190/191 Engineering Studies N2-N3 and Business Languages N3 examination, despite the challenges presented by COVID-19, Volmink said the department is required to block the results of seven centres that failed to comply with internal continuous assessment (ICASS) instructions pending the outcome of further investigations by the DHET and verification by Umalusi.

“The DHET is required to block the results of candidates and instructional offerings of centres implicated in irregularities pending the outcome of further DHET investigations and decisions by the National Examinations Irregularities Committee (NEIC) and submitted to Umalusi for resulting; address the high incidents of irregularities at private colleges, and address the directives for compliance and improvement highlighted in the Quality Assurance of Assessment report, develop and submit an improvement plan to Umalusi by 26 March 2020,” Volmink said.

Last modified on Wednesday, 03 March 2021 04:53