The Department of Basic Education has confirmed that it is still on track to wrap up the marking of matric papers before the end of the month.
According to the department, marking got off to a bad start as some markers pulled out following 238 markers testing positive for the coronavirus across the country, with one death reported.
“There has been anxiety and fear among markers and their families to the extent that some of the marking personnel opted to withdraw from the process and while some withdrew due to the fear, others withdrew because they themselves tested positive for Covid-19 or somebody in the family had tested positive,” said the department’s director-general, Mathanzima Mweli, in a statement.
Mweli said, however, that he was happy with the marking progress made after a meeting over the weekend with key stakeholders, including school governing bodies, principal associations, civil society and teacher unions.
“The purpose of the meeting was to share the progress of the marking process but to also obtain feedback on areas that need improvement,” he said.
According to Mweli, the meeting was fruitful, adding that the markers that withdrew had already been replaced.
Mweli said the department had taken all the input and would make safety their number one priority.
“It is because of this commitment from colleagues in the marking centres that as a sector we feel that we are still on schedule to complete marking as scheduled on 22 January 2021,” he said.
He confirmed that all the marking had started in all provinces and that he had visited 97 centres in six provinces and would now monitor the progress in Limpopo, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal later this week.
Compiled by Reitumetse Makwea