SCORES of pupils who were hoping to cheat in the Ordinary Level November 2017 Mathematics examination are counting their losses after they allegedly bought a fake leaked paper. The Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (Zimsec) confirmed it has a copy of the supposedly leaked Mathematics examination paper, which it said was in circulation. 

A number of teachers and pupils who spoke to our Bulawayo Bureau yesterday said the paper was selling like hot cakes for up to $300. Yesterday, social media was awash, particularly WhatsApp, with news of the “leaked examination paper.” Pictures of the paper went viral in multiple groups over the weekend. Zimsec public relations officer Ms Nicky Dlamini dismissed the rumours that it was an original examination paper and said some con artistes were capitalising on cheats who wanted to have access to the paper.

“It serves them right. It is these fools who think they are smart and want to cheat the system. The bogus businesspeople are targeting those people that want the shorter route to success. We actually have a copy of this so called leaked Mathematics paper. It is a fake. It is unfortunate that this raises fear and alarm among diligent and honest candidates, however, they should not worry because the original Zimsec papers are all safe and secure,” she said.

She said the system made it very difficult for people to access and leak examination papers. Ms Dlamini said the examination council had not started distributing the Ordinary Level examination papers to centres.

“We just started rolling out Grade Seven examination papers, we haven’t yet started on O’ Level. People must not be fooled,” she said.

Ms Dlamini advised the public to desist from being tempted to cheat the examination system as she said there were dire consequences.

“People should just work hard and take pride in earned success. A certificate that has been bought doesn’t help in any way because one would not even have the skills that a fake certificate confers on them,” said Ms Dlamini.

A teacher who declined to be named said a number of pupils said they got the paper from a private tutor and vendors.

“They said they bought it for amounts ranging between $200 and $300. Others said they bought it from vendors who sell green books,” said the teacher.

A candidate who will sit for the public examination said she was happy the paper was fake.

“My friends were boasting that they already had the examination. They even stopped studying saying they have the answers. I would have been disappointed if they passed without sweating like most of us,” said the pupil.

Last year, rumours circulated on social media platforms that a mathematics paper had leaked and it turned out that scores of examination candidates had forked monies to get hold of the “precious document”. It was revealed a few days later that the alleged leaked paper was a fake. In 2014, two teachers and a staff member at Mkoba Teacher’s college in Gweru were arrested after they leaked Mathematics papers to the public.

By Andile Tshuma Bulawayo Reporter (The Herald)