The Department of Basic Education has emphasised the importance of adhering to health and safety protocols as educators prepare to mark the 2020 National Senior Certificate exam papers.
Over 1600 teachers, mostly in Gauteng, have pulled out of the marking process for various reasons, including the fear of contracting COVID-19.
At least 170 teachers, who were due to mark matric examination papers, recently tested positive for COVID-19.
Speaking during a media briefing in Parktown, the Department’s Director-General Mathanzima Mweli said: “Nothing should be above health and safety in the marking centers, not even the standard of marking. The standard of marking must remain subordinate to health and safety as a priority. If markers are not safe, are we going to get the required standards of marking from them? No. Health and safety has to remain a priority to every one of us. It should be everyone’s business in the marking room, from the entrance to the exit.”
The Education department briefs the media on matric exam marking:
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: