EC exam cheats to be given lifeline

Some pupils implicated in cheating will be allowed to re-write their exams.

Grade 12's at Forest Hill High School prepare to write their first matric exam. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Some Eastern Cape pupils who were implicated in an exam cheating scandal have been given a lifeline and will be allowed to re-write.

At least 700 pupils in that province are said to have been aided by about 20 invigilators in mass-copying in the matric exams last year.

Results for the pupils have been blocked while authorities finalise investigations.

The provincial department's Malibongwe Mtima says cheating instigators won't be allowed to re-write.

"Those who didn't copy deliberately will be allowed to re-write, meaning that the teachers or invigilators made them copy. When they entered the exam room they didn't want to copy."

Meanwhile, the Western Cape Education Department said last week it withheld the exams results of 46 Athlone pupils caught cheating.

An investigation found the learners were cheating during last year's finals.

The department's Paddy Attwell said the regulatory body will consider the findings from the investigation before taking any steps.

The department has said it's asking for the maximum punishment for matric pupils and invigilators involved in cheating.

Matriculants who are found to have cheated could be banned from writing matric for the next three years.