Health and safety top priority, says basic education department

The department of basic education (DBE) has said that it is satisfied with the ongoing marking of the 2020 matric exams so far.

Mathanzima Mweli. Picture: Twitter

All provinces had started marking the scripts by January 6 and as of January 7, 96% of the 46,192 markers had reported in to the 177 marking centres around the country.

Department director-general Mathanzima Mweli said he had been monitoring the marking process since Monday January 4, when he visited 11 centres in the Western Cape. January 5 and 6 saw him visit another 19 centres in the Eastern Cape.

Mweli said that due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the department was making health and safety their top priority “for the first time in the 125-year history of the administration of the examinations”.

According to Mweli, marking centres were working hard to ensure that all staff members continued to wear face masks, practice proper social distancing and sanitised both themselves and the venue to help minimise the risk of infection.

The DBE is also working closely with the department of health (DOH) to develop ways that protect staff members without compromising the integrity of the marking process.

Mweli was satisfied that the proper logistics were in place to ensure the smooth running of the operation.

“The marking of each question paper is based on an organisational structure which is strictly hierarchical to ensure control and quality assurance of marking.

“To ensure that the marking hierarchy is firmly grounded, the marking session is a phased in process, which commences with the marking centre manager and management team that prepare the marking centre before the chief markers, internal moderators, deputy chief markers and senior markers arrive,” he said.

Each group of five to seven markers are directly supervised by a senior marker, and a group of seven senior markers are supervised by a deputy chief marker, who reporters to the chief marker, who is responsible for the management of marking of a specific question paper.

The department will continue to monitor all marking centres across the country in order to properly address all potential risks.


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