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Stonefountain director addresses cheating scandal

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The director of Stonefountain College has attributed a recent cheating scandal at its Athlone campus as an attempt by the school principal, as well as several implicated teachers to improve the branch’s overall matric pass rate. This comes as the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) on Monday identified 46 students, all of whom received directed assistance from teachers within the exam room.

Shedding light on the situation, college director, Shaheed Shaik said they were initially contacted by the department a week prior to the release of the final matric results for 2014. They were duly informed of a trend of ‘strange answers’ being detected within the answer sheets of certain students. Results were subsequently withheld pending an investigation into the matter.

“They interviewed all the matriculants at the school, the teachers who invigilated, as well as the principal who was head of the exams at the school. Some of the learners provided sworn affidavits and some of the teachers did as well. In these affidavits, learners acknowledged that they had in fact asked the teachers for help, and that the teachers responded by assisting them,” he explained.

But he stressed that an investigation into allegations of copying between students was still underway, with those claims yet to be proved through any statements from either students or teachers.

In response to the scandal, Stonefountain College on Monday resolved to dismiss the principal of the branch in question. Two teachers have also had their contracts terminated, with a further two handing in their resignations. A disciplinary hearing will likely be held once exams results are released by the WCED, to determine whether any further steps will be taken against those educators involved.

Shaik said that during Stonefountain College’s 10 years of existence, the institution had yet to experience an incident of this magnitude.

“We have been working with the department in all aspects of this investigation to try and come to the truth, because we all want this exam’s integrity to remain as intact as it has been over the years,” he stated.

With the regards to the learners implicated in the scandal, he said it would be up to the WCED to determine whether they were guilty or not, and what the resulting punishments would be. VOC (Mubeen Banderker)

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