Minister of Education, Arts and Culture Katrina Hanse-Himarwa wants the marking of Grade 10 and 12 national exam papers to be transparent, fair and effective and without any form of cheating.
With the Directorate of National Examinations and Assessment (DNEA) in charge of protecting the integrity of national examinations, the minister urged markers to remain vigilant and to be on the lookout for instances of potential malpractice. The minister, who officially opened the national examination marking process yesterday, said exam malpractices have become a disease to educationists the world over and has the potential to tarnish the credibility of the examination process.
Last year alone, the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture investigated 82 learners suspected of cheating during their external exams in October and November. The director of national examinations and assessment Cavin Nyambe, who at the time confirmed the investigation, had said the learners “might have had some form of assistance in mathematics, physical science, keyboard and word processing”.
Hanse-Himarwa appealed to all markers that all answer scripts be treated with the same attention, commitment and confidentiality. The Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture has said it needs 1 717 teachers to mark the final Grade 10 exam papers, while for Grade 12 about 812 markers are needed for Ordinary Level subjects, plus another 253 markers for Higher Level candidates.
“The candidates’ answer scripts to be marked last must be treated the same as the answer scripts marked first. Furthermore, you are required to promote a standardised approach to the marking for all candidates. A fair and just marking process shall enhance the quality, credibility and authenticity of the examination results,” she encouraged.
This year, about 21 104 Grade 12 fulltime learners will sit for Ordinary Level subject exams, compared to 2015 when a total of 20 301 candidates sat for their final exams. For the Grade 12 Higher Level students, 14 336 fulltime candidates will write their final exams, compared to last year when 13 172 wrote exams for the same level.
For the Grade 12 part-time students, 30 016 candidates will write their final Ordinary Level exams compared to 27 531 who wrote last year. Only 407 part-time learners qualify to write Higher Level exams this year, compared to 155 during 2015. Moreover, 38 277 Grade 10 full-time learners will write their final exams this year compared to 37 457 last year. About 11 735 Grade 10 part-time learners will sit for exams this year compared to 11 532 last year.
The examination period for Grade 10 learners started on 26 September and will end November 2, while Grade 12s started on September 26 and will end on November 11. The number of subjects for Grade 10 are 34 with 124 components, while for Grade 12 Ordinary Level it is 35 with 116 components. Grade 12 Higher Level has 22 subjects with 67 components.
All subjects will be marked at the Windhoek Showground and the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST). There are 850 examination centres for full and part-time Grade 10s candidates, while for full and part-time Grade 12 learners there are 298.
Minister Hanse-Himarwa urged markers to share ideas and learn from one another, while advising them to adhere to the instructions given by team leaders and chief markers.
“Since the marking exercise is demanding, physically and mentally, you are cautioned not to mark when you are tired or hungry. This will affect your concentration and thus the quality of marking. You should take regular breaks to rest and stretch at regular intervals to ensure that your bodies remain fit and healthy during the extended period of working hours,” she advised.