The Western Cape Education Department says it is working hard to ensure that all safety protocols are being met for the marking of matric papers which started today. The province has employed close to 3 000 markers at 11 different centres.

The department says they have communicated with the markers on safety issues.

The province lost more than 70 staff members due to coronavirus over the past few months.

“78 employees of the department have sadly passed away,  56 of them are teaching staff. This represents 0.8 %  of the teaching core in the Western Cape. Our thoughts stay with our colleagues, friends, families, and the community. We are however concerned of the virus stats nationally which impact all citizens, “says Western Cape Education Department Spokesperson, Bronagh Hammond.

Impact of coronavirus on the education sector in Western Cape

Hammond says the virus has had a devastating impact on the sector in the province.

“We have written to the markers informing them of the mandatory protocols of wearing the masks, social distancing, regular hand washing, and screening measures and adequate ventilation of all marking centres. We do acknowledge and are deeply appreciative of the contribution of our markers in ensuring that we have a successful marking session in this examination.”

The Western Cape Health Department says it is expecting the peak of the COVID-19 within the next few days in the province.  Health officials in the Garden Route District say hospitals remain under pressure despite a decrease in coronavirus infections.

A vaccine will soon be rolled out: 

Frontline workers 

Meanwhile, trade union Nehawu says it is concerned about the well being of frontline workers.

“Our members are succumbing to this coronavirus as we speak and it’s not something that we did not foresee, as we have informed the department but nothing has taken place as chronic shortages of vacancies still remains and it becomes equally important now that those vacancies be filled,” says Nehawu Provincial Secretary, Eric Kweleta.

According to the latest statistics, nearly 7 000 people have succumbed to COVID-19 in the province.

Coronavirus stats in SA: