Two arrested for selling fake exam papers

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WINDHOEK – Two people have been arrested for selling fake examination question papers for the Grade 12 Ordinary Level exams, which are currently ongoing. The fake question papers that were being sold were for Mathematics Paper 3 that will be written on October 18 and Development Studies that will be written on October 25, as well as for History and Biology that were already written at the end of last month.

Education Minister David Namwandi told the National Assembly yesterday that two young people were found in possession of fake question papers for the 2013 exams that they sold to learners in Katutura.

The Windhoek City Police arrested the two youngsters on Sunday and yesterday they were still in police custody under questioning, although no charges had been laid against them yet.

Upon being informed of the arrest the education ministry immediately assessed the question papers and found that the question papers of all four subjects were sourced from old examination question papers that are normally given out after examinations have been written and become part of revision and research.

It is believed that a number of school learners bought the papers from the defrauders, although no one had come forward to lay charges against the suspects as the victims of such scams would also be arrested for involving themselves in such illegal practices. “This is the dirty work of those unscrupulous elements in our society who have an agenda to tarnish the image of the government of the Republic of Namibia, the Ministry of Education and in particular our examination system by defrauding and cheating desperate and innocent Namibians through the love of money,” Namwandi said.

According to the Director of Examinations in the Ministry of Education, Cazin Nyambe, the ministry was unable lay charges against the duo as it was unable to categorise the practice under theft or fraud and against who, especially when it was found that the question papers were indeed fake.

Chief of the Windhoek City Police Abraham Kanime told New Era that possible charges would have to be brought against the two culprits and that investigating officers are consulting on the matter and had already handed the case to the police.

Namwandi said examinations are a national pride and should not be used as instruments for opportunism, fraud and cheating. “This practice is dangerous and as a ministry, we do not take it lightly. If this information lands in the hands of those seriously minded learners, they may become despondent, demoralised and will ultimately regard themselves as losers and not winners,” he advised.

Namwandi warned those who are engaged in similar practice to stop immediately, before they end up facing the wrath of the law. He said both the sellers and the buyers are equally guilty and if others are apprehended would also have to face the law.

Last year, 200 learners in Zambezi Region were arrested after they were implicated in the theft of grades 10 and 12 examination papers and a large number of Grade 12 learners who wrote examinations last year could not get their examination results at the beginning of this year, after they were suspected of having gotten access to the stolen examination papers.

The ministry investigated the matter and many of the learners were later found to be not guilty of involvement in the scam. Namwandi said the ministry had learned a lesson from the 2012 incident and has now tightened up on examination security.

By Tonateni Shidhudhu

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