Watch Out for Cheaters

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By Surihe Gaomas WINDHOEK With school examinations around the corner, the corrupt practice of cheating has reared its ugly head once again. It has emerged that some students are resorting to the practice of allowing others to write examination papers for them, while others sit for these exams for profit on behalf of others. The practice is so widespread it has been reported to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC). The Director of the ACC, Paulus Noa, has sent out an alert about these examination cheaters. “People have found some loopholes in the system. Some are sitting on behalf of others, so supervisors or invigilators must be extra careful when checking the students. This is tantamount to fraud and corruption,” explained Noa. Anonymous letters have been streaming into the ACC offices where the story is that some students “have been seen or overheard” talking about how they can assist each other. “Some of the people who are sitting for exams are not the real candidates,” said Noa, adding that it is difficult for the culprits to be caught in the first place. Most students do not have identity documents and this allows ‘eye-blinding’ supervisors with old passports to enter the examination hall. According to the whistleblowers, the names and identities of the culprits are not known and this makes it difficult for investigators to pinpoint who is in the wrong. “We thought we could try to detect these people, but our informer does not know the names of the students who did it,” said Noa, adding that for now there is not enough evidence for proper leads. It is apparent that while some students will end up doing this as a favour to help others, others most likely do it for money. It also happens that some of the students write for each other at different tertiary institutions. Noa is warning the public and all relevant authorities to be on the lookout for those who are cheating. Not only does this affect the country’s education system, but also does not bode well for the future of tertiary students. This is not the first time that incidents of cheating have cropped up at some tertiary institutions in the country. Three years ago, it was reported that a large number of Angolan students used fake Grade 12 qualifications to qualify for study at the university of Nambia. It transpired that some of them obtained degrees from Unam despite the fact that they did not complete their high school education in Angola. The Angolan students reportedly paid US dollars to get enrolled with the institution. In October last year, five examination papers from UNISA were also stolen from UNAM offices.