Over 200 Matric Markers Have Tested Positive For Covid

With concerns that matric marking could lead to outbreaks amongst teachers, some markers have already tested positive. The Department of Basic Education is committed to having no outbreaks during this marking season.

With concerns that matric marking could lead to outbreaks amongst teachers, some markers have already tested positive. The Department of Basic Education is committed to having no outbreaks during this marking season.

94% of the 46 024 markers expected have reported to work. 0.5% of markers have tested positive for Covid, either on arrival or a few days after they were at the marking centre.

In Kwazulu-Natal, one marker passed due to Covid and all markers present at the marking centre are now undergoing testing. Nine markers who were in contact with the one marker are now isolation and all produced negative Covid tests.

238 markers across the country have tested positive for Covid and have since been released.

The Director-General (DG) of the Department of Basic Education (DBE), Mathanzima Mweli, held a briefing on the progress of the marking process of the National Senior Certificate exam scripts in the context of COVID-19.

Priscilla Ogunbanjo, the Director for Examination and Assessment, was present at the briefing as she gave a technical update on the marking progress. 

Should one person test positive in a room at a marking centre, the rest of the markers have to be isolated and tested if they show symptoms. This could then lead to the release of this entire team. In order to avoid this, Ogunbanjo said:

We had to go with this method of having fewer people per classroom ... In the Free State there is only 12 markers in a room ... In Gauteng, 15, etc.

As for marker withdrawals, Free State had 60, Eastern Cape 379, Gauteng 827, Kwazulu-Natal 110, Limpopo 370, Mpumalanga 106, Northern Cape 66, North West 158, Western Cape 609. 

DBE seems to be concerned when it comes to the Western Cape's marker drop out rate as it's almost double the withdrawal rates in other provinces.

Western Cape is a little bit of a concern because if you look at the total number of markers expected in the Western Cape, 3450 markers were expected in the Western Cape and 609 out of that number which is about 18%.

Around 2700 markers withdrew nationally, which is about 6%. The reserve list is about 15-20% meaning that there are more than enough reserve markers to replace withdrawals.

Marking commenced on 4 January and the Department hopes to complete all scripts by 22 January. 4 marking centres commenced on the 4th whereas the rest started on the 5th or 6th.

Some provinces might finish earlier with some having earlier target finishing dates.

All 177 marking centres across South Africa are now fully in operation.

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