WESTERN CAPE NEWS - Marking of matric exam papers in the Western Cape has not been unduly impacted by Covid-19.
According to Bronagh Hammond, spokesperson for the Western Cape Education Department (WCED), only 106 of the 3 450 teachers that signed up for the marking of the 2020 exam scripts have withdrawn.
Though the national Department of Basic Education said there were 298 withdrawals, Hammond said the marking process has not been negatively impacted, as the WCED is always prepared for withdrawal of markers or no-shows, which occur every year.
She said the WCED always appoints extra markers for this very purpose, and has thus been able to manage the withdrawals.
Hammond also confirmed that as of 9 January, six markers have tested positive for Covid-19 since marking began. "These are isolated cases and it did not result in further spreading. The marking is proceeding well and all health and safety protocols are being adhered to."
The Director-General of the Department of Basic Education, Mathanzima Mweli, said in a press release on Monday 11 January that this year, health and safety are top priority for the Basic Education Sector. He said Covid-19 has placed the emphasis on safety before focusing on the quality of marking. "We cannot afford to have marking centres as super spreaders of the coronavirus," he said.
The department conveyed a special message of gratitude and thanks to all the markers who have taken up the task of marking under extremely difficult conditions.
In an earlier announcement, Minister Angie Motshekga said the marking will be done by 22 January, and the matric results will be released on 22 February.
Schools are due to reopen on 25 January for teachers and 27 January for learners, but this may change due to the spread of Covid-19.
In his address to the nation on Monday evening, President Cyril Ramaphosa said a final announcement will be made shortly.
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