More than 170 matric markers test positive for COVID-19

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The Department of Basic Education (DBE) has released a statement on the progress on the marking of matric exam scripts. In the statement, the department stated that 171 markers had tested positive for COVID-19 after reporting for duty. A further 1 682 markers withdrew from their duties completely. 

The department, however, has assured the public that there are those on standby who are able to replace anyone who has chosen to withdraw from their duties or if they have tested positive for COVID-19.

MATRIC MARKERS THAT WITHDREW FROM DUTIES IN EACH PROVINCE 

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The DBE has provided a breakdown of how many markers withdrew in each province. Here’s what you need to know: 

  • Free State- 10
  • Eastern Cape – 100
  • Gauteng – 827
  • KwaZulu-Natal- 101
  • Limpopo- 02
  • Mpumalanga – 106
  • Northern Cape – 63
  • North West – 157
  • Western Cape – 298
  • DBE Centralised marking – 18 

This brings the total to 1 682. 

DBE SATISFIED WITH PROGRESS MADE IN FIRST WEEK 

The Department of Basic Education said it is satisfied with the progress made in the first week of marking of the combined matric examination scripts for the class of 2020.

In addition to the marking which already started in December 2020 in Mpumalanga, Limpopo and Gauteng respectively, marking commenced in five provinces on Monday 4 January and in the remaining four provinces on 5 and 6 January 2021. 

By Thursday 7 January, more than 96% of the 46 192 expected had reported at the 177 marking centres. 

The DBE also said it was encouraged by the commitment of officials to ensure that the marking gets underway despite the risks. 

“Approximately 1700 markers across the 9 PEDS (which totals to about 3.6% of the markers appointed declined their appointments but the PEDs have a set of reserve markers which have already been used to replace markers since PEDs appointed between 10 to 15% reserve markers for each paper. Where PEDS choose not to replace the markers, they could extend the marking for up to 18 days,” the DBE added. 

“For the first time in the 125 history of the administration of the examinations, the Basic Education Sector
has placed health and safety as priority number 1. COVID-19 has added an extra dimension to marking
as we have known it, now the emphasis is really on safety before we focus on the quality of marking. We
cannot afford to have marking centres as super spreaders of the coronavirus and that is the message we
are taking to colleagues in all the marking centres,” said Director General of the Department of Basic Education Mathanzima Mweli.

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