Matric exam markers to have health workers on call and 'easy meals'
Basic education minister Angie Motshekga has released directions to ensure Covid-19 protocols are in place to help the more than 45,000 people marking the matric exam papers from Monday.
The rules state compulsory screening and mask compliance must be adhered to at the 181 marking centres around the country over an 18-day period.
“In the marking centres we have increased the number of monitors and we will visit all the centres to monitor compliance. We have made health and safety a priority for all staff in the marking centres,” said Mathanzima Mweli, director-general of the department of basic education.
The new regulations follow President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement on Monday that the country would move to Covid-19 alert level 3.
Marking venues may not exceed 50% of capacity and the markers as well as officials must adhere to social distancing.
The department said there will be strict screening procedures at the entrance of every marking centre and marking personnel who display any symptoms that are listed in the Covid-19 protocol will be retained in a temporary isolation room, until they have received medical advice.
“Markers that have been tested positive must not report to a marking centre and a failure to disclose their health status will constitute a misconduct.”
The directions also state that “During meal and tea times, there would be not more than 50 persons in a particular area and meals will be provided in disposal containers so that markers can partake of their meals on the school grounds or wherever they consider to be safe”.
“Arrangements will be made for health practitioners to be on site or within easy reach of the marking centre so as to support and provide advice or deal with any emergency that may arise.”
The department has a reserve list of markers, who would be brought in as required.
Grade 12 pupils will hear whether Umalusi, Council for Quality Assurance in General and Further Education and Training, will declare the matric exams free and fair on February 15. This will be preceded by reports on the investigations into the leaked maths paper 2 and physical science paper 2 that will be furnished by senior officials of the basic education department to the exam quality assurer.
If approved, the minister will announce the national results on February 22.