887 Matric exam paper markers quit and had to be replaced in Gauteng just as the marking season commences. Marking began on 4 January and is set to finish up on 22 January with around 45 000 markers being recruited across the country.
More than 1000 teachers have quit across the whole country.
Reasons for the markers quitting spanned from being ill, having been exposed to someone who has Covid or fear of being exposed to the virus. As the province has one of the highest number of recorded cases, this is understandable.
Gauteng education department's spokesperson Steve Mabona said:
We managed to replace them. We have a surplus of markers. When we have a challenge, we go and interact and make sure we replace them. So far, we are doing very well.
Marking in Gauteng's 30 marking centres is said to be doing well.
Mabona told eNCA, "We have been monitoring since Monday but we have checked again today. It's all systems go. Our markers continue with the marking process."
Protocols are being strictly adhered to and the department encourages social distancing and has educator assistants available to check that protocols are being followed.
"When we did our monitoring, we have seen that markers adhere to protocol which will assist us," says Mabona.
Markers are screened three times a day, on arrival, lunchtime and when they leave, to prevent any further spread of the virus.
According to the work that has been done, marking is said to be on course with the province having over 12 000 markers working.
"We should be done by the 22nd of January"
Countrywide, marking will take place in 181 marking centres with more than 45,000 markers. They will be marking 14 million scripts in 18 days as the total number of 2020 candidates was 1 058 699.