Mbabane: Lobamba Member of Parliament Allan Stewart says the level of corruption and maladministration at the Examinations Council of Eswatini has the potential of destroying the future of emaSwati children.
Stewart said this when making his submissions at the House of Assembly on Monday being the seconder for the motion that was moved by Khubuta Member of Parliament Musa Mabuza. The motion moved by Mabuza was seeking the House of Assembly to adopt the report of the select committee probing the Eswatini Examination Council on alleged gross irregularities relating to maladministration, production of results and other corrupt practices.
MP Stewart said the fact that the Council is accused of producing results is destroying the future of the children on its own because the pupils will be said they have passed while they did not. Stewart said children should pass on merit not some foul play that was happening at the council.
Stewart was basing his argument on the report revealing how in 2017 results for four schools were fraudulently produced. The schools were Sigcaweni High School, SAIM High School, Lusoti High School and Masibekela High School. These findings unearthed this through the submissions before the committee by Gugu Mtsetfwa-Gumbi, the Subject Officer at the Exams Council. Mtsetfwa-Gumbi told the committee how the results were cooked after scripts for this schools went missing.
She said while they were marking, it transpired that the Form V scripts for these schools for various subjects were missing. She added that they tried to locate the missing scripts to no avail. Mtsetfwa-Gumbi said what was unfortunate in this whole mess was the fact that the office of the registrar did not inform them in time about the missing papers.
She mentioned that she developed an interest in the matter because, seemingly all managers at the Exams Council were clueless on what might have happened to the scripts, yet they were the ones who were supposed to be kept abreast on such unfortunate developments. Mtsetfwa-Gumbi submitted it is still a mystery as to where the marks allocated to those children came from.
She went on to add that it is clear that the said results for 2017 were allegedly produced fraudulently. Mtsetfwa-Gumbi said there was a need to report the missing scripts to the police, but unfortunately until today nothing has been done. She said the Exams Council was not supposed to give pupils marks they did not deserve just by assuming or making an intelligent guess.
Mtsetfwa-Gumbi said in 2017, Lusoti High School candidates went for remarking, and to their surprise they passed with flying colours, particularly the English language. The officer said the interesting part is that the difference between the main results and the remarked ones was too little. The IT director was notified of the error, but he downplayed the matter and said it was because Lusoti High School had its Paper 4 marks omitted from the system.
Mtsetfwa-Gumbi went on to explain that the registrar told them to keep quiet about the matter as he was still carrying out some internal investigations.
Mhlume MP Victor Malambe cried foul on the matter of the schools’ results as one of the schools was located in his constituency, which is Lusoti High School. Malambe said he is much worried about the future of the children as the school was in the habit of committing such malpractices.