Minister warns learners of the risks of cheating in the NSC | Western Cape Government


Minister warns learners of the risks of cheating in the NSC

10 October 2019

On the 23rd of October 2018, thousands of candidates will begin writing the 2019 NSC examinations.

This year 53 395 full time candidates and 9 075 part-time candidates have registered for the examinations.

Today I visited Trafalgar High School where 150 NSC candidates took part in a pledge signing ceremony that shows their commitment to complying with all rules and regulations relating to the NSC exams.

Schools have been asked to conduct an assembly for all Grade 12 learners as part of their orientation and preparation for the writing of the NSC examinations. Candidates will be asked to read a pledge stating that they will uphold the principles of honesty and integrity in the examination by:

  1. Complying with all the rules and regulations relevant to the National Senior Certificate examination.
  2. Following the lawfully recognized instructions of the invigilator during the writing of the examination.
  3. Not being influenced, in any way, to cheat in the examination by any person including the invigilator.
  4. Not participating in any wrongdoing which includes, but is not limited to: copying, being in possession of unauthorised material or electronic devices (example cellphone), accepting or providing assistance to another candidate, writing on behalf of another candidate or any other unauthorised action.
  5. Reporting any form of wrongdoing that I am aware of to the school principal.

All learners and their parents or guardians are also required to sign a Commitment Agreement (attached) prior to the commencement of the examinations.

The Commitment Agreement provides a detailed list of the key rules and regulations relating to the NSC examinations, as well as a list of irregularities that may occur during the writing of the examinations. 

Some of the irregularities include:

Bringing unauthorised material into the examination room (crib notes, cellphones, other electronic devices etc.)

Copying (from another person/any other source)

Allowing other candidates to copy from them

Ghost writers – any other person writing on their behalf

Accepting an answer from an invigilator or official

Being drunk or disorderly

Getting or distributing the question paper before the stipulated writing date and time.

The WCED has appointed 1 463 invigilators at the 466 exam centres. Part of their duties is to check whether candidates are adhering to the NSC rules and regulations.

Every year I have cautioned candidates against cheating in these examinations. Cheating can result in serious consequences such as being banned from writing the NSC for up to three years.  

There is always complete regret when candidates are found guilty. Their lives are essentially being placed on hold in terms of further education opportunities at a higher education level. It can also impact on job applications.

Let us be honest, you are only cheating yourself and it is simply not worth it.

 Learners have spent at least twelve years at school and should not risk throwing all this away by choosing to use irregular means to pass the examinations. 

I sincerely hope that we will not have to disqualify any candidates this year.  

In the 2018 NSC, 17 candidates in 16 separate cases had their results declared null and void in the 2018 NSC examinations.

There were nine cases of candidates in possession of a cell phone or electronic device in the examination room and six cases where candidates were found to have crib notes.  Two candidates in one other case were declared null and void for copying in the examination.

It is thus very important that parents also warn their children regarding the use of cellphones or any other electronic device in the examination room, similarly with any notes or material intended for copying. 

Candidates must take note of the examination rules at the beginning of the exams and follow the instructions of the invigilators.

I would like to encourage all our candidates for the 2019 NSC examinations to take this warning seriously and to put in the hard work required to prepare for the upcoming examinations. 

I wish all the Grade 12’s the best of luck.


Media Enquiries: 

Bronagh Hammond
Director: Communications
Western Cape Education Department
072 7241422 (please whatsapp or sms me if unavailable)