Basic Education says it will do whatever it takes to prioritise the safety of the 45 000 examiners expected to start marking the 2020 matric final exams on Monday.

Spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga has expressed concern over the impact the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic will have on both the marking of papers and the next academic year.

The department says medical professionals will be on standby at marking centres.

New guidelines for markers have been drawn up in line with alert Level 3 guidelines announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Mhlanga says strict screening will also be done at all 180 marking centres.

“It means that we’ve had to do things differently by focusing on safety because it’s the main issue right now. We increased our marking centres but also increased the number of days over which marking will take place in order to ensure that we adhere to social distancing principle, but also to make sure that people are sanitising and wear their masks all the time. It’s important that all of them are staying safe so that marking is not interrupted.”

Department of Basic Education plans to ensure that marking of matric exams continues:

COVID-19 protocols

On Saturday, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga outlined protocols to ensure that the marking of the matric examinations continues uninterrupted even if any personnel tests positive for the coronavirus.

The guidelines state that if any person displays symptoms typical of COVID-19, they will be placed in a separate isolation room and must seek medical attention before they are allowed to resume marking.

All markers that test positive for the virus will not be allowed to continue marking and if it is determined that a person has lied about being negative, they will be charged with misconduct.

The Department has developed a list of reserve markers to ensure that marking is not disrupted.

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