Free State marking centre damage will not delay release of matric exam results: DBE

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The Department of Basic Education says there will be no delay in releasing 2021 matric results. This follows a storm that damaged a marking centre in Albert Moroka High School in Thaba Nchu in the Free State.

National Basic Education spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga says there were 16 000 Business Studies paper two and 9 000 Accounting paper two at the marking centre which covers the entire province.

Officials from the Department of Basic Education and Umalusi visited the affected centre to assess the situation.

On Wednesday the storm wreaked havoc and markers had to find cover. About 112 markers were inside the hall when the incident took place, one of them sustained minor injuries.

The roof of the school hall, a classroom, a block of toilets and old staff room building were damaged. Mhlanga says the marking centre has been relocated to Bloemfontein at the Louis Botha Secondary School. He adds that it is not likely that there will be a re-write of the subjects in question.

“We don’t expect that there will be a delay in the release of the results because work is continuing and the expected end date for marking is the 22nd of December. We believe that we still have time. We will then go through processes of checking irregularities including this one. So we are currently going through everything, detail by detail to see exactly how many scripts were here, how many were marked and captured, how many were marked and not captured, and how many were not marked at all.”

Umalusi says an audit will be conducted to analyse the extent of the damage. Umalusi CEO, Dr Mafu Rakometsi, has extended his gratitude to the Free State Department of Education for their immediate intervention in the matter.

“It was a disaster that was unexpected. And they have been able to secure the scripts, we still have to do an audit of what is missing, what is damaged. And they were also able within a short period of time to get a new marking centre which is very commendable because nobody was expecting this disaster. And if the marking were to be delayed, it will be delayed for maybe a day and that will not, therefore, affect the release of the results. The results will still be released on time.”

Dr Mafu Rakometsi on the recovery of exam papers:

Free State teachers union SADTU says it is pleased with the support given to the traumatised markers by the Provincial Department of Education.

SADTU provincial secretary is Mokholoane Moloi, “It’s unfortunate that we had this kind of a situation which was unplanned and unforeseen. But we are happy in the manner that the department had reacted to the situation and how they are dealing with the situation in terms of taking care of the markers and everyone who was here at the marking centre being removed to another venue and giving them support in terms of their wellness program. So that everyone feels at ease and can continue with marking.”

The department has earlier reported that no matric learner will be disadvantaged in terms of their marks for Business Studies and Accounting.

Basic Education assesses damage to the marking centre: