With the Department of Basic Education aiming for marking to be done in three weeks, concern has now surfaced as Covid can strike anytime and disrupt the marking processes. Marking of matric exam papers commenced on 4 January.
In Gauteng, it was seen that 800 markers did not arrive out of it's total for a variety of reasons.
The Eastern Cape reported that 74 people arrived that were positive but that doesn't speak to the number of people that did not pitch at all.
Executive Director of Teachers' Union, National Professional Teachers' Organisation of South Africa (NAPTOSA), said:
All the provinces have assured us that they have been able to replace those markers and that's good and well with this first batch of markers.
Concerns lie more with continuous infection as well as withdrawals which now might start happening.
"We happy with all the processes in place but of course it is the unknown factors that we have to be concerned about because we will only know about them when they actually happen," explains Manuel as he says with markers not staying on site, this then increases the possibility of coming in with an infection.
Everything is said to be on track and there are hopes that this will stay for the next couple of days.
The department even made sure to look at small details such as when markers are on breaks. DBE has said, "During meal and tea times, there would be not more than 50 persons in a particular area and meals will be provided in disposable containers so that markers can partake of their meals on the school grounds or wherever they consider to be safe."
Arrangements will also be made for health practitioners to be on site or within easy reach of the marking centres so that support and advice is available or to deal with any emergency that may arise.
Every marking centre has a Marking Centre Compliance Officer in place to ensure that there is strict adherence to the COVID-19 protocols and to also manage any COVID related situation.
Strict screening procedures are also practiced at the entrance of every marking centre and should any marking personnel display symptoms listed in the COVID-19 protocol, they will be retained in a temporary isolation room until advised by a Health Professional.
Social distancing, mask wearing, regular sanitation as well as other protocols are in place.
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.