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Social Distancing Concerns At Matric Marking Centres

The Director-General of the Department of Basic Education, Mathanzima Mweli, is concerned when it comes to social distancing not being undertaken at a Limpopo marking centre.

The Director-General (DG) of the Department of Basic Education (DBE), Mathanzima Mweli, is concerned when it comes to social distancing not being undertaken at a Limpopo marking centre.

Following a stop at Merensky High School in Limpopo on a tour of marking centres across the country, the DG said:

Mweli also had a look at the sleeping arrangements following concerns raised by some markers and concluded that the concerns raised are valid.

In response to this, he said, "I have instructed the Provincial department and the Centre manager to attend to this urgently, today. It is of utmost importance that we ensure the safety of our markers".

The National Teachers Union (Natu) has also raised concerns about social distancing at Kwazulu-Natal marking centres with the Education department's Spokesperson saying that although mass screenings are conducted, it seems that a high number of markers are arriving at centres with positive tests.

Natu General-Secretary, Cynthia Barnes, told eNCA:

There is a different issue with KZN because in most cases you find that the provinces are doing different things. For example, in Eastern Cape is the only province that decided to test the teachers when they came into the marking centre but I'm a bit worried why the other provinces didn't do it because maybe it would have limited the number of people coming in with the virus.

She also explained further that there could've been people who got infected through the two markers who passed from the virus but aren't showing signs. They could then go back home and infect others.

"That on it's own is very worrying and we don't know what to do about it," said Barnes. She said there seems to be a gap between the implementation and the planning because they were supposed to plan before the time and to have had markers tested before they began marking.

The Department of Education needs to do a lot when it comes to the safety of the teachers as well as the health of the teachers.

Concerns are then also raised about teachers becoming infected and this then leading to a shortage of teachers in schools once they reopen.

Around 238 markers across the country have tested positive for Covid and have since been released while two markers have passed due to the virus. 

Matric marking commenced on 4 January and are expected to fully be completed by 22 January with some provinces having earlier targets.

 

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