Marking of 14 million matric papers starts today

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The marking of the 2020 matric exams are still shrouded in strict pandemic protocols, as South Africa battles its second wave of Covid-19 infections. PICTURE: NIGEL SIBANDA

The marking of 14 million National Senior Certificate (NSC) scripts will begin on Monday. 

The marking of the exams is expected to last until 22 January, with a staggered approach being adopted cross 181 marking centres to avoid the spread of Covid-19, reports The Citizen

45 000 markers will be stationed across the country for the next 18 days. 

Last year’s matric learners were forced not only to adapt to a devastating pandemic and massive class disruptions, those who wrote maths and science paper two were almost made to rewrite them.  This after the above papers were leaked

Department of Basic Education (DBE) minister Angie Motshekga, under advice from the National Examinations Irregularities Committee (NEIC), and quality assurance board Umalusi, ruled that a rewrite would be the most sound decision. 

A court battle saw Judge Norman Davis rule that the rewrites suggestion was “irregular and unlawful”. Motshekga and the NEIC were ordered to pay the costs of the applicants and legal counsel.  

The marking of the 2020 matric exams is still shrouded in strict pandemic protocols, as South Africa battles its second wave of Covid-19 infections. 

As such, screening will be taking place at the entrance to the marking and accommodation venue. 

The department said any member of the marking personnel who is sick should not report to the marking centre, but to the health centre, where a nursing sister will be available on site.

A Covid-19 compliance officer has also been appointed to ensure adherence to health protocols. 

Markers who tested positive for Covid-19 but completed the isolation period before reporting to the marking centre will be allowed to participate in the marking process. 

Accommodation facilities will be regularly sanitised, but the department said that most hostels are shared rooms. They suggested a two metre social distancing protocol and 50% room capacity, and “preferably no sharing or rooms.”

No more than 50 people may be served meals and teas at a time. Tables in dining hals for markers are separated by 1.5 metres. There are also plans for take-away packs to reduce the amount of markers in meal halls. 

Nica Richards