More than 41,000 markers have been appointed to mark the 2021 matric exam papers at 194 marking centres across the country from Wednesday until December 22
THE DEPARTMENT of Basic Education is confident to go ahead with the marking of this year’s National Senior Certificate (NSC) exam papers.
Daily screening, sanitising and social distancing will take place and markers will need to wear their masks every day.
At marking centres across the country, the Department of Basic Education (DBE) will have compliance officers to remind markers about their responsibilities of staying safe.
Alternative marking centres will be made available should one close down due to someone testing positive for Covid-19.
DBE spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga said: “The health and safety protocols are the same as last year. Marking was allowed to proceed even during the third wave last time, so we don’t see anything stopping it this time.”
Although eight markers died from Covid-19 last year and 315 markers tested positive, Mhlanga said the cases were not related to marking centres.
“People attended funerals and weddings before coming to marking centres. We didn’t know they had gone to weddings and funerals. They informed us once they tested positive. Remember also that we didn’t know as much as we know now about Covid-19. Since then medical science has answered most questions we couldn’t deal with last year,” Mhlanga said.
The executive director of the National Teachers’ Organisation of South Africa (Naptosa), Basil Manuel, said all marking centres must have rapid testing sites set up on the first day.
“Marking is a stressful period for markers, especially during these uncertain times. I think markers deserve respect and gratitude. In turn, they must ensure that they look after their own and, by extension, everyone else’s health. Immediate isolation and testing for anyone who feels ill must take place and no unvaccinated markers should be allowed,” he said.
National Teachers’ Union (Natu) general secretary Cynthia Barnes said the DBE must ensure that marketing centres adhered to Covid-19 protocols and regulations.
“Safety will be achieved if the protocols are not compromised and anyone who seems to have Covid-19 symptoms must be taken to the doctor and tested. If positive, they must be removed from the centre so that they do not infect other people,” she said.
More than 41,000 markers have been appointed to mark the 2021 NSC exam papers at 194 marking centres across the country from Wednesday until December 22.
A few days later, the Umalusi (Council for Quality Assurance) standardisation is expected to take place.
Once Umalusi announces that the matric exams and marking processes were up to standard and have been declared fair, the Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, is able to announce the national results and pass rate.
Motshekga will announce results on January 20 and the following day provinces will release results.