The Limpopo Education Department says about 20 matric markers have been withdrawn from various centres due to bereavement or after testing positive for coronavirus (COVID-19).
The department’s spokesperson, Tidimallo Chuene, says the department is satisfied that the centres are adhering to COVID-19 regulations.
“With 6 254 markers and the marking is scheduled to end on the 19 of January 2021. 20 markers have put out of the process due to various reasons including some testing positive for COVID-19 and also others citing bereavement. We have reserve leaves to replace that have been put out of the process. Each of our 24 markers for the current session will be hosting a limited number of markers in line with the set of directions and health protocols announced by the minister of basic education.”
Teachers begin marking papers amidst fears of COVID infections:
Effect on school year
The second wave of COVID-19 infections hasn’t only affected the marking of matric exam papers but has also raised fears that the new school year will also be impacted on.
According to the Basic Education Department, over 1 600 teachers have died of COVID-19. The Eastern Cape Province has already flagged the prompt replacement of these educators as a concern.
DBE concerned about the shortage of teachers due to pandemic:
Teacher unions have also raised the grief the deaths are causing teachers and learners.
Naptosa’s Basil Manuel says it seems like the provincial education departments have the marking process under control but they’re still uneasy.
“If there are more withdrawals for whatever reason, it will become more difficult to find replacement markers because now your substitute list will be exhausted and you can’t just grab anyone off the streets that hasn’t met the criteria. So in that respect, our concerns remain. But if everything goes smoothly from this point, then finishing marking would not be a problem.”
Over 46 000 teachers are currently marking matric exam papers at 177 marking centres throughout the country. The Basic Education department says they’ll continue to monitor the centres to ensure that they stay on track to release the 2020 matric results in February.