With the marking of matric papers underway since Monday, the Gauteng Education Department announced that more than 800 markers pulled out due to various reasons.
Despite this, Gauteng Education spokesperson Steve Mabona said COVID-19 health protocols, such as social distancing and the wearing of face masks, were observed at all times.
Mabona said markers were trained on Tuesday and while roll call was being taken, they realised that more than 800 markers that did not show up. Mabona said some had comorbidities, some said they feared the pandemic, others indicated that they had suffered bereavement and others could not come due to testing positive or having been in contact with a positive case.
He said that if and when markers do not show up, it is easy to tap into their database and contact others who were willing to mark matric papers. He said in the case where 800 people did not show up, it was relatively easy to replace them as other markers who were interested were just a phone call away.
“So, we don’t see any challenges when it comes to the marking of the scripts,” said Mabona.
When asked if they had to turn anyone away from the marking centres in relation to COVID-19, he said they did not have to do that, not on Tuesday or on Wednesday. Mabona did, however, say that there will be more information on Thursday and Friday as to whether anything else transpired in other areas that they were perhaps not aware of.
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga issued directives for matric markers to follow given the significant increase of COVID-19 cases and the subsequent move to Level 3 lockdown.
All officials, markers, senior markers deputy chief markers, chief markers and internal moderators must:
A school or other identified venue that has a large enough facility may accommodate more than 50 officials, markers, senior markers, deputy chief markers, chief markers, internal moderators and administration staff, but may not exceed 50% of the capacity of that facility.
Markers must also have in their possession, a permit which corresponds with Form 7 Annexure A of the Regulations which will be issued by the Head of Department or the person duly authorized by him or her, to allow marking personnel movement during the curfew hours.