Top brass contradict each other on leaked exam - Solomon Star News

Top brass contradict each other on leaked exam

30 December 2020
Dr. Franco Rodie (L) and James Bosamata (R).

THE Permanent Secretary (PS) of the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development (MEHRD), Dr. Franco Rodie, and his deputy, James Bosamata, have contradicted each other over alleged cheating in national exams this year.

A MEHRD preliminary report indicated that cheating and leakage of exam papers prior to the recent exams had taken place during the F3, 5, and 6 examinations last month, Dr. Rodie said in a published report.

The ministry categorically denied initially leakage of papers before the exam.

But after the exams officials “have come to terms that exam papers have actually been leaked prior to the exams, coupled with invigilators aiding students with answers.”

Dr. Rodie also blamed invigilators and leakage of exam papers as contributing factors to cheating by students. 

He said some invigilators normally gave answers to students during an examination, and sometimes the papers were leaked before the start of the exams, as such students have already seen the questions.

In one of the earlier radio talk-back shows, deputy secretary Bosamata denied allegations exam papers were leaked before Form 3, Form 5, and Form 6 students sat this year’s national exams.

“As far as we know for this year, there is no such leak exam (papers) as there’s no evidence to prove that. 

“What has been speculated through the social media that some might be selling them on the street is just a fake exam paper. We have seen the copy of the circulated exam but it was not the same as the actual exam papers for this year and that is just a fake exam paper,” he said. 

Social media postings have blamed the ministry and teachers for leaking exam papers.

A former high school teacher said in a recent posting on social media that; “cheating is ripe because teachers are not doing their job faithfully.

“If they do their jobs faithfully by preparing the students well and also cover the required prescription, there won't be any cheating. 

“Secondly, national exams are standardized tests and given to all F 3, 5 and 6 in the country despite there being a difference in ability levels between F3, 5 and 6 at the senior national level and those in community high schools and worst in rural remote schools. This is a big disparity,” the teacher said.

“It would be best if these exams are separated – national exams should be set for senior secondary school and community high schools. This will help solve the problem,” he said.

Cheating during examinations is not a new thing.

In 2009 the South Pacific Board of Education and Assessment (SPBEA) in Fiji withheld results of F6 students at Honiara High School, Panatina Community High School, and White River Community High School after it was alleged students cheated in the exam.

Newsroom, Honiara