Basic Education Dept confident matric marking will be completed on time

The matric marking process rolls into the second week today, where more than 45,000 assessors have been hard at work at 177 centres nationwide.

Teachers at the Grey College in Bloemfontein on 8 January 2021. The school is one of the matric exam marking centres in the Free State. Picture: @HubertMweli/Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG - The Basic Education Department on Monday said it was confident the 2020 matric marking process would be completed on time.

The matric marking process rolls into the second week today, where more than 45,000 assessors have been hard at work at 177 centres nationwide.

However, the mammoth task has proven to be challenging for the department especially amidst the COVID-19 second wave of infections.

The department said the marking process for the 2020 matric class is on track, with senior officials insisting the entire process would be completed on time.

This despite the fact 238 markers have so far tested positive for the coronavirus over the last few days.

The majority of cases were recorded the Eastern Cape.

In addition to the positive cases, thousands of assessors pulled out of the marking process over COVID-19 fears.

The Department’s Director-General Mathanzima Mweli said, “The possibility of the impact of this was discussed as early as March and provinces made provision for it. They made sure their reserve lists catered for much more numbers than they ordinarily do, and it has shown so far that there is no crisis at all in getting markers replaced.”

The department added it would continue to closely monitor the marking process with a special focus on health and safety due to the second wave of the pandemic.

Matric exam results are expected to be released in early February.

ONE ASSESSOR DIES IN KZN

Meanwhile, the department on Monday confirmed one assessor died in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) after contracting COVID-19.

It's understood the teacher was stationed at the Estcourt marking centre and three other markers who were in close contact with the deceased have also tested positive for the virus.

Mweli said KZN has been a concern: “One marker passed on, who we were told went for marking not feeling well. Together with teacher unions and other associations, we have been encouraging teachers or markers not to come for marking if they don’t feel well.”

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