Why would someone cheat in their final school year exams?

The South African schooling system varies from pupil to pupil with the wealthier being able to afford a private school education, but the South African public education system is characterized by crumbling infrastructure, overcrowded classrooms, and relatively poor educational outcomes. Matric is the final exam that school learners write at the end of a 12 year curriculum and they are all judged in the same way regardless of the facilities the learners have been exposed to during their time at school.

Added to the challenges within the education system, the learners who wrote their final exams experienced the lockdown as well as the severe challenges brought about by loadshedding in South Africa. 

With the results of the 2022 Matric exams for over 900 000 learners’ due tomorrow, the education quality assurance council, Umalusi, expressed its concern that irregularities during the National Senior Certificate (Matric) exams was worsening. At least 1000 cases of cheating are being investigated. Some candidates were found with crib notes on their cell phones and others were so brazen as to share answers on WhatsApp groups. Sadly, teachers have been found to be involved in the cheating of certain pupils.

In South Africa, most jobs require a minimum qualification of a Matric and with the high rates of unemployment in the country people are desperate to be able to produce a Matric certificate – valid or not. Employers that do not verify the qualifications of potential employees are leaving themselves open to abuse.

At iFacts we see that 6% of qualifications verified are fraudulent, and no qualifications presented for employment or any other reason should be accepted at face value. When employing any new staff members all qualifications should be verified.

Companies screening staff members should have a screening policy in place to guarantee the correct screening is conducted at all times, and, going forward Integrity assessments should be included in all screening processes. An example of an integrity assessment that should be included in the screening process is an Integrity Measuring Instrument (IMI) it measures the following areas and would be able to detect honesty and deception.

Measuring Areas – Scales

  1. Honesty
  2. Stealing/Theft
  3. Violation of policy, rules & regulations
  4. Reliability & Dependability
  5. Lying
  6. Denial, Projection & Justification
  7. Work Ethic
  8. Manipulation
  9. Verifiable Items
  10. Lie Detector

With unemployment being so high in South Africa a Matric certificate is important to secure a job. The absence of this can lead to many pupils cheating or obtaining a fraudulent certificate.

As of the third quarter of 2022, out of most of the unemployed individuals in South Africa, 51% had an education level below Matric (grade 12). Unemployed individuals that have finished their Matric year represented 38%, while graduates made up almost 3% of the total unemployed.

Source (Statista 2023)

All companies should have a process in place to verify all qualifications presented in a job application or CV. iFacts is able to verify all qualifications and assist to improve or to put a screening policy in place, contact iFacts for further information.

× How can we help you?