Stellenbosch University
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Statement: irregularities with regard to the written assessment for the Mathematics 2 Paper
Author: Corporate Communication and Marketing / Korporatiewe Kommunikasie en Bemarking
Published: 07/12/2020

​Stellenbosch University (SU) confirms that staff members in its Faculty of Education informed the Department of Basic Education (DBE) of what it perceived to be irregularities with regard to the written assessment for the Mathematics 2 Paper of the National Senior Certificate.

SU's Centre for Pedagogy (SUNCEP) manages the Talent Development Programme, a first opportunity university preparation programme for academically talented learners in Mathematics and Physical Sciences. The programme launched an integrated Learning Management System (LMS) to continue supporting learners during the COVID-19 pandemic through online lessons and examination preparations, foundational skills development and resource sharing.

A very effective and well-managed part of the programme is a WhatsApp group used by learners for peer-to-peer discussions. Hundreds of questions from textbooks and previous exam papers are discussed on this group on a daily basis, and access to this WhatsApp group is only open to current members of the Talent Development Programme cohort.

Following the completion of the aforementioned paper, learners on this group notified the administrators that two questions discussed on the group the day before, had formed part of the Mathematics paper. (Please note that the entire exam paper was not shared on the group, nor were most learners probably aware of the fact that the two questions were from the leaked paper at the time they were shared.)

Staff of the Faculty immediately launched their own investigation and subsequently informed the relevant staff of the national and provincial offices of the Department of Basic Education via the Dean of the Faculty, Prof Mbulungeni Madiba. 

The DBE has already expressed its gratitude towards the University for bringing the matter to its attention and for the support it received from the Faculty. 

The University is giving its full cooperation to the investigations of the DBE and the Hawks.