Leaked papers cost ministry millions

N$2.5 million for reprint

13 January 2022 | Education

Windhoek • [email protected]

The aftermath of the biggest exam fraud in Namibia's history costs the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture about N$14 million to rectify.
At the end of last year, examination papers in various subjects intended for Grade 11s and 12s were leaked and the examinations were consequently postponed until this year.
The ministry's executive director, Sanet Steenkamp, said the ministry will spend about N$14.1 million on rewriting the exams for both the Senior Secondary Certificate Ordinary Level (NSSCO) and Grade 12.
The nationwide transport of the papers for ten subjects printed for Grade 11 and distributed to all 14 regions, cost the ministry N$8 million, while reprinting the papers for five subjects for Grade 12 cost N$2.5 million. The total transport cost of the papers from the UK to Namibia was N$3.6 million.
According to Steenkamp, the ministry has never had to deal with such a big dilemma and "shame" before. "This includes academic theft and other corrupt practices such as selling papers," she said.
According to her, the national examinations are a comprehensive process that involves various phases and that includes various experts or role players at both local and international level. She stressed that the ministry reckons the security measures that have been put in place since then are being applied carefully.

Immediate action
"We immediately took steps to deal with the issue. Despite the financial implications, we are satisfied that all the necessary steps will be taken to hold the alleged culprits accountable," Steenkamp said.
The rewriting of subjects for Grade 11 started on Monday and will last until 21 January. The Grade 12 subjects will take place from 7 to 15 February.
Steenkamp emphasized that the ministry had allocated the necessary resources to ensure that anything that could hamper the national examinations was stifled. "The ministry will continue to analyze control measures. The risk and control graph has been revised from scratch to identify the trigger points and close all possible loopholes. We value the principles of integrity and excellence," said Steenkamp.
The alleged mastermind behind the leaked papers, a teacher attached to the Higher Technical School (HTS) in Windhoek, Maria Toivo’s first court appearance was shortly before Christmas in Windhoek along with her co-accused, Namutenya Hamukuto.

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