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Kade Doris Samson-CRN
Tuesday, December 11, 2018 - 15:03
 
Head teachers and pupils allege cheating in this year’s primary eight school leaving examinations in Juba South Sudan. They claim that some pupils from other schools had leaked question papers before the exams.
 
Various teachers who prefer to be anonymous are wondering how those children got access to the papers beforehand.
 
This invigilator regrets that the practice will affect the pupils who are struggling hard on their own to attempt the exams without cheating.
 
“There were some Irregularities that were reported by some pupils and also some of us saw on our way to invigilate the exams. We saw some pupils have the examination papers with them. Where they got the papers, who gave them is a big question that has to be answered by those who were responsible”, he acused.
 
He says whilst escorting his pupils to the exams center, some pupils from other schools were having the exams question papers.
 
The invigilator suggests that the ministry of education should take action against those practicing the act, including the examinations council.
 
“If we continue doing things like that, the future of education of this country will not be good. Because this children go to Secondary Education when they are not prepared for that level. They will again practice what they have learnt in Primary and the whole thing will continue like that. My urge is that the ministry does something upon it because our system might just be going to the dogs”, he stressed.
 
A head teacher from one of the government schools says cheating is a common practice in the country. He calls on the Ministry of education to take the issue seriously.
 
“Cheating is a common thing in South Sudan. The Ministry of education should be aware of all this situation”, the head teacher urged.
 
He stresses that if it continues like this, South Sudanese may not be able to compete with other countries.
 
The head teacher expresses delight that three of his candidates were able to compete in Morocco and Egypt successfully because they had no background of exams cheating.
 
“If we allow pupils to continue cheating, then that will bring us a big problem in this country. Our country will not develop well. If we take our students to other countries especially those who complete secondary school and they go to university to compete in other countries, they will not compete because their standard is not equivalent to their results”, he added.
 
The teacher blames the examination council for encouraging cheating in South Sudan.
 
“Where are these candidates getting these question papers from? They {the examination council} are the one giving out these papers and the candidates continue to become lazy to read because they know at the end of the day, the questions will be leaked out for them. So it is a very serious issue. What is the benefit? It will turn back to our country to become weak and we are responsible. This is another message to the ministry of education that please let us not encourage all these things. The candidates are not there in the room for printing and compiling. Those responsible people are the one giving out the question papers. I don’t fear of saying this”. the teacher insisted.
 
 
But the Secretary General of the Council, Simon Nyok Deng says they are not aware of any case of malpractice, including cheating. He warns that anyone found guilty of the crime will be punished.
 
“I have no information regarding any leakage of exams or anybody having gained unauthorized access to any contents of exams’ material before or during the exams”, he said.
 
However, a pupil also claims that some of their colleagues from other schools had the same questions on their books like the ones in the exams.
 
“Many pupils from other schools had copied the same questions on their books. These are SST, Science, CRE and Mathematics. I don’t feel okay because their schools will be announced in the radio after exceling due to cheating. Some teachers leaked the question papers for them. This is not good because those pupils who cheated will continue with the same habit in secondary school”, she claimed
 
 
Another senior teacher also frowns at the practice.
 
He argues that cheating in exams is not a good practice because pupils can be promoted to other classes without qualification.
He says, this portrays a bad image for South Sudan.
 
The Deputy Head teacher urges the ministry to reduce the rate of cheating by holding to account anyone involve in the practice.
 
“I think, the higher authority for examination should put other regulations for those who are found cheating. People deserve t  o be jailed because this is a malpractice which is not good. In Uganda last year, there was cheating. That’s why candidates are sitting for the paper again because there are strict laws”, he said.
 
A concerned parent also expresses disappointment over the issue. She encourages parents to remind their children to study hard in order to be able to compete with others.
 
“We as parents, should encourage our children to study. Don’t focus only on the performance of your child. You should know whether the child passes through cheating or hard work”, the parent appealed.
 
She also added that students studying in neighboring countries are sometimes not focused, but are involve into other social activities.
 
She said, the exams council and the education ministry should be blamed for these issues if they are proven to be true.
 
In 2017, at least 41,000 candidates took the primary school leaving exams in South Sudan. Out of that number, almost 34,000 passed.
But with these allegations of exams malpractices, the output of those pupils who passed through the back door will be affected at a higher level in life.
 

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