Gauteng matric exam marker dies from Covid-19

14 January 2021 - 15:00 By naledi shange
A Gauteng matric marker died from Covid-19 after being found unconscious at a marking centre accommodation site.
A Gauteng matric marker died from Covid-19 after being found unconscious at a marking centre accommodation site.
Image: 123RF/Julija Sapic

A Johannesburg matric exam marker, who was based at the Jeppe High School for Boys marking centre, has died, apparently from Covid-19 related complications.

Acting Gauteng education department MEC Jacob Mamabolo said on Thursday that the marker was a 59-year-old woman and had been marking the isiXhosa papers.

“It is with great sadness that we confirm the passing of one of our markers. Initial reports indicate that the marker was on Tuesday January 12 found unconscious by our centre manager from Jeppe Boys marking venue at her accommodation,” said Mamabolo.

“This after noticing that the marker had not reported for duty as expected. The marker, who tested positive for Covid-19, was admitted to hospital but unfortunately died on Thursday,” Mamabolo said.

The education department was offering counselling to other markers who may be affected by the incident. Her family is also being assisted.

“Accordingly, the group of markers who were in contact with the now-deceased marker were tested on Tuesday and released from the marking venue while waiting for results. The marking centre was immediately defogged and sanitised,” the department said.

This incident comes as some teacher unions expressed concern about the safety of markers.

In KwaZulu-Natal, at least two markers have died, also apparently from Covid-19, since the start of the marking period on January 4.

The Gauteng education department said it has implemented strict Covid-19 protocols, which include reducing the numbers of markers per class and employing assistants at all the centres to ensure that the markers adhere to the regulations.

“We would like to thank our markers for continuing to do a sterling job in these challenging times. We call on everyone to continue to observe the Covid-19 protocols aimed at reducing the spread of this deadly virus by regularly washing hands, sanitising and maintaining social distance,” Mamabolo said.

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