What Will Happen If Matric Marking Becomes A Superspreader?

The Department of Basic Education is now in the middle of marking 2020's matric exam scripts. Though there has been many concerns concerning marking during a pandemic, the Department has now spoken on what will happen should marking become a superspreader event.

The Department of Basic Education seems to have everything in order when it comes to this year's marking of matric papers. Though there has been many concerns concerning marking during a pandemic, the Department has said that they will close centres if marking becomes a superspreader event.

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.

DG is impressed with progress which has been seen so far. 

The DG went on to thank markers and their families as well and said, "I really want to commend the exam team in terms of the speed at which they were able to move and replace those markers who could not bid for this exercise".

No marking centre should experience an outbreak and we have committed that that will not happen

Should this marking session become a superspreader, as many have feared it would, all marking centres will be closed.

The Department reports back to the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) every week on the marking proceedings and markers. Meetings are also held with teacher unions every week.

Gauteng is doing exceptionally well, said Mweli. 8 compliance officers are present at every marking centre while only 1 compliance officer is present at marking centres in other provinces.

In December, 5 marking centres in Gauteng, 3 in Limpopo and 1 in Mpumalanga were set up as a part of staggered marking and was monitored closely.

Health and safety is said to be the highest priority for the department within the marking centres across the country.

Monitoring of marking centres began last week at 11 marking centres in the Western Cape. DBE then visited 18 out of 23 marking centres in the Eastern Cape and all 23 centres in the Free State. Northern Cape has four marking centres and North West has 14 which were covered as well. They wish to wrap up monitoring Gauteng's 26 marking centres and then will be heading to Limpopo.

We were impressed. The landscape of marking has completely changed.

In the Eastern Cape, rapid testing is a requirement to enter the marking premises. Mobile clinics are used in the Eastern Cape alone due to it being the source of the resurgence. In future, the department would like this to be present at all marking centres in the country.

Marking commenced on 4 January and the Department hopes to complete all scripts by 22 January.

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